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Five Senators Oppose Divorce Bill, Leaving Its Fate Unclear

Senator Jinggoy Estrada, the Senate president, has reported that five senators, including himself, are now opposed to the divorce law, therefore its future in the chamber is still unknown.

To determine the senators’ opinions on the divorce bill, Estrada polled each of the 24. According to the results, Joel Villanueva, Ronald Dela Rosa, Francis Tolentino, the majority leader in the Senate, Francis Escudero, and Estrada himself were against the reform.

Along with Robin Padilla, Grace Poe, Imee Marcos, Pia Cayetano, and Raffy Tulfo, the bill has the backing of Sen. Risa Hontiveros, who was the main proponent of the Senate version.

There has been no discussion of the Senate version of the divorce law in the plenary yet, despite it having been passed by the Hontiveros Committee on Women and Family Relations last year.

Due to the lack of a clause allowing the Public Attorney’s Office to represent impoverished clients in divorce disputes, Escudero provided an explanation for his rejection of the bill in the House version.

Many senators’ positions were not represented in Estrada’s survey: Sherwin Gatchalian, Bong Go, Lito Lapid, Ramon Revilla Jr., Cynthia and Mark Villar, Sonny Angara, JV Ejercito, Loren Legarda, Nancy Binay, Minority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, and others.

Recognized for his conservative views, Zubiri reiterated that he was against divorce, saying, “I’m pro-family and pro-life.”

After looking over the provisions of the House bill, Pimentel also stated that he could not support the law.

As she has done since her 2013 Senate race, Binay restated her long-standing opposition to divorce.

In the meantime, Angara, Revilla, and Ejercito have stated that they are still considering their opinions on the proposed legislation.

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