Bacolod: Six Negros solons cast ‘Yes’ votes for divorce bill

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(Photo courtesy of The Visayan Daily Star)

Six Negros island solons joined 125 of their colleagues in the House of Representatives Bill that proposes the introduction of absolute divorce in the country as an alternative mode of dissolving irreparably broken or dysfunctional marriages.

However, three other Negros solons voted against it, while another one abstained, according to records of the House of Representatives.

The Absolute Divorce Act was approved on third and final reading by the Lower House, which received 131 affirmative votes, 109 negative votes, and 20 abstentions.

The bill seeks to provide absolute divorce as a legal remedy for irreparably broken marriages, under specific grounds and judicial processes, with the goal of sparing children from the emotional strain of parental dispute and allowing divorced individuals to remarry.

Those from Negros Island who were in favor of HB 9349, or the proposed “Absolute Divorce Act” were Abang Lingkod Rep. Stephen Joseph Paduano, Rep. Gerardo Valmayor (1st district Negros Occ.), Bacolod Rep. Greg Gasataya, Rep. Juliet Marie Ferrer (4th district, Negros Occ.), Rep. Jose Francisco Benitez (3rd district, Negros Occ.), and Rep. Manuel Sagarbarria (2nd district, Negros Oriental).

Those on the negative side were Rep. Mercedes Alvarez (6th district, Negros Occ.), Rep. Alfredo Marañon III (2nd district Negros Occ.), and Rep. Emilio Bernardino Yulo (5th district, Negros Occ.).

On the other hand, Rep. Jocelyn Limkaichong (1st district, Negros Oriental), abstained.

Meanwhile, Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said “There is no need for this divorce law.”

HB 9349 lays down the comprehensive guidelines for absolute divorce petitions, encompassing grounds, procedures, and the effects on custody, property division, and support. It also includes provisions for reconciliation methods, fines, and community-based initiatives, which will be supervised by the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

It gives Filipino spouses a fourth mode of separation on top of the three methods allowed under the country’s Family Code: legal separation, annulment of marriage, and declaration of nullity of marriage. (Gilbert Bayoran via The Visayan Daily Star)

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