Did you know, that when a man commits concubinage (sexual relationship with another person to whom they are not or cannot be married to the full extent of the local meaning of marriage), and is found guilty, he only gets desetero or to stay away from the wife? While the wife who commits adultery, gets 1 1/2 to 6 1/2 years in jail. And the accusing party only needs circumstantial evidence. That’s Philippine justice and law for you.
The Philippines is the only country in the world — aside from the Vatican — where divorce is forbidden, a testament to the enduring power of Roman Catholicism that has flourished since Spanish colonizers imposed it nearly 500 years ago.
The church and many of its followers in this Southeast Asian Catholic stronghold of 100 million believe strongly in the indissolubility of marriage. But a growing number of Catholics would now support a change.
The independent pollster, Social Weather Stations, found in March 2011 that 50 percent of Filipinos surveyed favoured divorce for couples already separated so that they can remarry, while 33 percent opposed it. In 2005, the two sides were about even. Catholics account for about 85 percent of the country’s population.
Realuyo, a 58-year-old insurance broker, said she would have gotten a divorce if it had been available back in 1989 when she filed for an annulment. She said her husband didn’t provide for their family, used drugs and was uncooperative in counselling sessions.
She was jubilant and celebrated with an “Independence Day” party when the civil annulment was approved in 1991; 12 years after her church wedding and 10 years after her husband left their home.
The annulment will allow Realuyo to remarry in civil ceremonies, but not in Catholic rites because her marriage has not been annulled by the church. If she remarries outside the church or has a live-in relationship, that would be considered immoral by the church and she would be denied communion, a form of excommunication.
Realuyo paid her lawyer about 7,000 pesos, less than $1,000 at the time, to take care of her annulment petition 25 years ago. It has gotten substantially more expensive, too costly for many in this impoverished nation to afford.
The system is wicked and forces people to stay together when love has gone and both parties want to move onto more loving partners. Divorce is not an end of a marriage, but more over the start of a new loving one. Why would anyone stop anyone being happy? Divorce in the Philippines is possible. Contact us now for more information.