Published: Tuesday 20 March, 2018

Duterte ‘NO’ to Divorce But House Approves Divorce Bill on Final Reading

Will President Rodrigo Duterte veto the divorce bill if it’s finally presented to him for approval? Malacanang said Duterte is against the divorce bill in the wake of its approval on third and final reading at the House of Representatives on Monday.

The Church and Filipino conservatives just found an ally in President Rodrigo Duterte after Malacang declared that he is against divorce in the Philippines. Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte believes approving divorce in the Philippines would be bad for children of separated couples.

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The president’s position is understandable. A separated man himself, Duterte’s marriage to his first wife was annulled in 2000. His present common-law wife is Honeylet Avanceña with whom he has a daughter, Kitty.

In 2017, the president also scolded his son, Baste, who was allegedly having an affair with actress Ellen Adarna, for neglecting his children.

But with the overwhelming support the divorce bill received in the House of Representatives, are Duterte’s sentiments enough for a veto?

The divorce bill still has quite a long way to go before being presented to Duterte for approval. Before it can be passed into law, the bill has to have a counterpart bill in the Senate after which the two versions have to be reconciled to come up with the final provisions. But there is no divorce bill in the Senate yet.