On the Legality of the Issue

Copyright http://www.settlepro.com

If you read my blog, then you know that I don’t consider Kris Aquino in high regard. No, I don’t know her personally, and I don’t want to know her personally. She just leaves a bad taste in the mouth whenever I see/read/hear about her. I’m sure I would have that effect on her if she were to see/read/hear about me, but that’s another issue.

In a way, it’s her current affairs with her (perhaps soon-to-be ex) husband that prompted me to write this piece. Much as I don’t like her, I do not wish upon anyone what she and her husband are going through now. Marital problems are big problems, and being a celebrity with marital problems increases the problem exponentially. I mean, how would you like to have your dirty laundry aired on national television?

Because he’s Kris Aquino’s older brother, and because he’s president of the Philippines, Benigno Aquino III was asked for his opinion on divorce. Our president said that he favors remarriage after a legal separation. Which really wasn’t answering the question, was it?

According to GMA News at an event in Pasay City, Aquino told reporters he “cannot support” moves to legalize divorce, which Gabriela party-list Representatives Luzviminda Ilagan and Emerenciana de Jesus are pushing, as an option for couples in failed and irreparable marital relationships.

Later on, Aquino said he recognizes that “there are unions that no matter what interventions are done, no matter what counseling is done, they really cannot stay together and there are dangers to either one or both parties.” What he said has been the opinion of many in society.

For cases such as these, legally separated couples should be allowed to remarry, Aquino said. “Legal separation, it will be very, very stringent, you really have to ascertain that there really are irreconcilable differences, medyo long period, sa Tagalog parang padaanin sa butas siguro ng karayom. At the end of the day they should be allowed to remarry. Ok lang yun,” he said.

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I will digress. The funny thing is, after reading the comments section in online editions of papers like the Philippine Star, you get to see people’s various reactions to the news. Over half of them are ridiculously moronic.

  • Every so often, someone will comment that divorce is against Biblical principles.
  • Should a commenter mention God, church, or Bible, several more commenters will reply denouncing:
    • God (your “skydaddy” or some other idiotic appellation)
    • church (bunch of old-fashioned has-beens who are clearly out of touch with the times)
    • or the Bible (totally a man-made piece of outmoded literature)
  • The conversation gets off topic.

End of digression.

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Clearly, very few have asked questions that are really in topic. (I have added my own comments/questions in parentheses.)

  • Isn’t divorce considered the end of a marriage relationship, something which doesn’t apply to legal separation? (I’m no lawyer, but that was what we were taught in school. If there’s a lawyer there somewhere, I would appreciate clarification in this matter.)
  • Assuming that in legal separation, there is no end to the marriage, how can someone then remarry after getting a court declaration that he/she is now legally separated? (if I remember right, countries that allow divorce, like the US, also recognize legal separation as a step prior to divorce. Maybe our president is confused on this issue.)
  • Assuming further, that based on Aquino’s words, remarriage after legal separation should be allowed, should it still be called legal separation? (Doesn’t this remind you of the question, “If you pull the wings off a fly, does it become a walk?”)
  • Are the people in favor of divorce really convinced that this is the best course of action?
  • Will divorce finally be legalized in the Philippines? (Considering that we love aping things made in the USA, I would say yes.)

Personally, I just wish they would go and get done with this issue already. From where I sit, all the people involved are doing (exemplified by no less than the president) is not calling a spade a spade. (“See, here’s a spade. Let’s not call it a spade, let’s call it a digging instrument.”)

HSAT, I would like to say for the record, that while I personally am not in favor of divorce (my theology tells me that), I have to empathize with those who are undergoing marital problems and are hoping for divorce or legal separation (my theology tells me that, too). This isn’t going to be easy for anyone and everyone.

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