this note find you in a time of deep prayer and reflection.
July 2017, our Community released our Position Paper
against the Divorce Bill. Attached, for your guidance
and Household Discussions, is our Updated Position
Paper on the Consolidated Version of the Divorce Bill.
few days ago, on February 21, 2018, Legislators passed
a consolidated version (from 4 Divorce Bills on file),
without contention. The same Legislators, who spearheaded
the Reproductive Health (RH) Law, are leading the
passage of the Divorce Bill. With the passage of this
Bill at the Committee level, and the pronouncement
by Speaker Alvarez in a Press Statement wherein he
vowed to the public that his pet Dissolution of Marriage
bill would be approved by the Lower House of Congress
on third and final reading before Congress goes on
legislative break on March 23, we know that it will
take our prayers and the concerted efforts of family
movements and the Catholic Church institutions to
persuade the Senators not to pass the bill.
we must be forearmed and stand vigilant for the protection
of the Sacrament of Marriage, the core of our very
existence and mission.
bless all of us.
the service of the Holy Family,
the Servant General and the Servant Council
Statement Against the Passing of the Divorce Bill
the House Committee on Population and Family Relations
of the Philippines
the members of the Couples for Christ Foundation for
Family and Life (CFC-FFL) and its Family Ministries,
Young Couples Ministry, Servants for Family and Life,
Handmaids for Family and Life, Singles for Family
and Life, Youth for Family and Life, and Kids for
Family and Life, Work for Life, denounce the passage
of the “Divorce Bill”, entitled, “An
Act Instituting Absolute Divorce and Dissolution of
Marriage in the Philippines (Absolute Divorce Act
of 2018)”, by the House Committee
on Population and Family Relations, last February
21, 2018. (This passage at the Committee level is
the prerequisite for the Bill’s being passed
by the Lower House of Congress after debates in a
Plenary session). Stated below are the compelling
reasons based upon the articulations of the proponents
of the consolidated Divorce Bill.
CFC-FFL released last July 27, 2017 its combined position
paper against the Divorce Bill and the Homosexual
Union Bill, known as the SOGI (Sexual Orientation
and Gender Identity).
In summary, we re-state:
a Catholic evangelistic and missionary community,
committed to the renewal of the family and the defense
of life, CFC-FFL adheres faithfully to a set of beliefs
and ideals from which flow its Christian attitudes,
values and behavior, as well as its programs, teachings
and approaches to Christian renewal within the context
of family relationships.
invite all in unity to a life in Christ Jesus, wholly
dedicated to loving God and serving Him. Marriage,
although regulated by civil and church laws, originates
neither from the church nor the state, but from God.
Therefore, neither church nor state can alter the
intrinsic definition of marriage, with its indissolubility.
Below is an update on the Divorce Bill:
The proposed law contradicts and, for all intents
and purposes, devalues a morally enshrined provision
in the Philippine Constitution, “Article XV
on the Family, Section 1. The
State recognizes the Filipino family as the foundation
of the nation. Accordingly, it shall strengthen its
solidarity and actively promote its total development.
Section 2. Marriage, as an inviolable
social institution, is the foundation of the family
and shall be protected by the State.
The Legislators1 rationalize that the Divorce
Bill does not violate the Constitution by these statements:
1.1“It is not an affront to the constitutional
provision on the sanctity of marriage as a basic social
institution because what is subject to divorce proceedings
are marriages long dead or vitiated from the very
start. In the language of the Supreme Court, it is
giving a decent burial for a cadaver of a marriage.2”
1.2 “To show that the State places importance
on the sanctity of marriage, the court will only start
divorce proceedings six months after the petition
for divorce is filed.” 1.3 “To mandate
a six-month “cooling off” period “as
a final attempt of reconciling the concerned spouses
for abusive relationships”.
aforementioned statements of the Legislators manifest
the lack of intent and judiciousness towards the repairing
and restoring marriage as an inviolable social institution.
Further the proponents’ stated intention to
facilitate and prioritize the processing of Divorce
for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) is deplorable.
De facto, all married persons who are OFWs are separated
from their families placing their marriages at risk
due to infidelities. Thus, for the Divorce Bill proponents
to institute this rationalization, which overlooks
and ignores the fact that the deeper problem of OFWs
is about instability of marriages and parents-children
relationships, parental absence that are linked to
more profound problems such as juvenile delinquency,
drug addiction, school dropout, teenage pregnancy,
early marriages among the children of migrants, as
well as other serious damages to marriage and the
family. Therefore, this is an unacceptable rationalization
by the proponents of the Bill because it undermines
the necessity for legislating greater interventions
to strengthen and protect the Marriages and Family
lives of the OFWs and grossly oversimplifies the Divorce
3. Another stated intention of the proponents is to
redefine the term “indigents” as those
whose real properties are below P5 million, an amount
proposed by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez. Deputy Speaker
Pia Cayetano explained that the overseas Filipino
workers (OFWs) they consulted had specifically asked
that the process would be affordable or would not
cost them a year’s salary.
The definition of an indigent based on Republic Act
7875 is “Indigent – A person who has
no visible means of income, or whose income is insufficient
for the subsistence of his family, as identified by
the Local Health Insurance Office and based upon specific
criteria set by the Corporation in accordance with
the guiding principles set forth in Article I of this
Divorce Bill’s proposal to expand the definition
of “indigents” to include those whose
real properties are below Php 5 Million, is highly
prejudiced to grossly cheapen the cost of nullifying
marriage. The value of marriage is being reduced to
a commodity that can be discarded at a cheaper price
by a wider population. This expanded category of indigents,
to include those whose real properties are below 5
Million, is an insult to the true indigents of our
attempts by government institutions, with special
reference to this proposed Divorce Bill that was recently
approved by the Committee on Family Relations, and
scheduled for approval during the forthcoming plenary
sessions at the Philippine House of Representatives,
are seen to be essentially political and self-serving.
It violates our founding Christian principles that
Marriage and the family, are central social institutions
that must be supported and strengthened and not undermined.
Edcel Lagman, Head of the Technical Working Group
for this Divorce Bill and former proponent of the
former Reproductive Health Bill that was enacted into
2Interpretation of the Supreme Court ruling
on a dissolution of marriage Te vs Te GR #161793,
Feb 13, 2009.