With a House panel approving a measure that will allow divorce in the country, House Minority Leader Benny Abante Jr. on Wednesday lamented how Congress was “further weakening the ties that bind our nation’s families together” and called on his colleagues in Congress “to reverse course on this disturbing path that threatens this sacred institution.”

“I would like to believe that as leaders of this country our goal should be finding ways to keep families together, not tear them apart. This proposed divorce law, unfortunately, only serves to erode the foundations of an institution that even the Constitution says we should value and protect,” said the lawmaker.

“The State is duty-bound to protect the institution of marriage.”

Abante pointed out that “the word ‘family’ is mentioned in the Constitution a dozen time; it even has a whole Article devoted to it. That by itself should serve as a guide for us tasked to draft this nation’s laws. There is even a provision that specifically says that the State is duty-bound to protect the institution of marriage.”

Section 12 of ARTICLE II (Declaration of Principles and State Policies) states that “the State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution.”

Article XV (The Family) Section 2, on the other hand, states that “marriage, as an inviolable social institution, is the foundation of the family and shall be protected by the State.”

The solon reminded his colleagues that there is already a mechanism by which marriages can be annulled.

“This final avenue is available for couples that cannot reconcile, and while some say that annulment can be a lengthy, difficult process, it is the demands of the process that ensure that only those who are really serious about ending their marriage––those who believe their marriage cannot be salvaged––who go through with  it,” Abante stressed.

Abante added that if the House insisted on pushing for divorce, they should repeal the provisions that allow for annulment.

“We are just providing too many doors by which married couples can walk out of their marriages. While in extreme cases it is warranted, I believe one door is more than enough.”

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