Grace seeks to add abuse to grounds for mar­i­tal sep­a­ra­tion

Panay News - - NATION -  By Prince Golez, Manila Re­porter

MANILA – Sen. Grace Poe is seek­ing to ex­pand the grounds for le­gal sep­a­ra­tion to in­clude sex­ual vi­o­lence and abu­sive con­duct.

Her Se­nate Bill No. 1366 seeks to amend Ar­ti­cle 55 of the Fam­ily Code of the Philip­pines which enu­mer­ates the dif­fer­ent grounds for le­gal sep­a­ra­tion.

The pro­vi­sion cur­rently re­quires “re­peated phys­i­cal vi­o­lence or grossly abu­sive con­duct” to jus­tify a le­gal sep­a­ra­tion.

Such word­ing, ac­cord­ing to the se­na­tor, is “prob­lem­atic” since a “re­peated” abuse or sex­ual vi­o­lence puts the life of the vic­tim at risk.

“The seem­ingly in­nocu­ous word­ing of this ground has put un­due bur­den on vic­tim spouses who woul have wanted to legally sep­a­rate from their abusers but could not do so un­til they are phys­i­cally and emo­tion­ally bat­tered due to mul­ti­ple in­stances of abuse,” Poe said.

“Why should we wait un­til abuse has be­come repet­i­tive or gross? We should stop abuse at the first in­stance and we should not al­low abusers take refuge be­hind gaps in the law.”

In fil­ing the mea­sure, the law­maker cited the coun­try’s com­mit­te­ment to the Con­ven­tion on the Elim­i­na­tion of All Forms of Dis­crim­i­na­tion Against Women.

The hu­man rights treaty for women re­quires party-na­tions to elim­i­nate dis­crim­i­na­tion against women in all mat­ters re­lat­ing to mar­riage and fam­ily re­la­tions.

Poe said her pro­posal ap­plies to both spouses re­gard­less of gen­der.

Other grounds for le­gal sep­a­ra­tion in­clude phys­i­cal vi­o­lence or moral pres­sure to com­pel the pe­ti­tioner to change re­li­gious or po­lit­i­cal af­fil­i­a­tion; at­tempt of re­spon­dent to cor­rupt or in­duce the pe­ti­tioner, a com­mon child, or a child of the pe­ti­tioner, to en­gage in pros­ti­tu­tion, or con­nivance in such cor­rup­tion or in­duce­ment; fi­nal judg­ment sen­tenc­ing the re­spon­dent to im­pris­on­ment of more than six years, even if par­doned; and drug ad­dic­tion or ha­bit­ual al­co­holism of the re­spon­dent.

Les­bian­ism or ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity of the re­spon­dent; con­tract­ing by the re­spon­dent of a sub­se­quent big­a­mous mar­riage, whether in the Philip­pines or abroad; sex­ual in­fi­delity or per­ver­sion; at­tempt by the re­spon­dent against the life of the pe­ti­tioner; or aban­don­ment of pe­ti­tioner by re­spon­dent with­out jus­ti­fi­able cause for more than one year could also lead to a dis­so­lu­tion of mar­riage./


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