Chiz Escudero First Wife, Senate President Chiz Escudero’s Stance on Divorce

Newly-installed Senate President Francis “Chiz” Escudero has made it clear that his stance on divorce is rooted in conscience and personal beliefs. Despite his preference for making annulment more affordable and accessible rather than supporting divorce, Escudero emphasizes that the Senate will decide on the matter based on individual senators’ convictions. This article delves into Escudero’s perspective, the current status of the divorce bill, and the implications of its potential approval.

What is Escudero’s View on Divorce?

Senate President Francis “Chiz” Escudero has consistently expressed a preference for improving the annulment process over legalizing divorce. He believes that making annulment more affordable and accessible is a better alternative. Under his leadership, Escudero expects the Senate to vote on the proposed measure based on each senator’s conscience and personal beliefs, without party lines influencing the decision. During the recent Kapihan sa Senado, Escudero reiterated his stance, stating, “Ang posisyon ko dito sa divorce ay conscience at personal vote ito,” highlighting that the decision should be personal and based on individual beliefs and religion.

How Will the Senate Vote on the Divorce Bill?

Escudero has emphasized that the vote on the divorce bill will be a matter of personal conscience for each senator, with no influence from party lines or majority-minority dynamics. “Walang party, walang majority, walang minority stand dito. Personal na desisyon base sa kani-kanilang paniniwala at relihiyon ang mangyayari dyan kada senador,” he explained. As the Senate President, he has no intention of swaying the decision either in favor of or against the bill.

Why Does Escudero Prefer Annulment Over Divorce?

Escudero has long advocated for a more accessible annulment process as a preferable solution to divorce. He believes that by allowing the Public Attorney’s Office to handle marriage annulment cases, the process can become more affordable and accessible for those who need it. Additionally, he suggests that Congress should clearly define what constitutes psychological incapacity, which is a common ground for annulment. “At pangatlo, at mas maliwanag, i-define ng Kongreso kung anu-ano ang makokonsider na psychological incapacity,” Escudero stated.

What is the Current Status of the Divorce Bill in the House?

Recently, the House of Representatives voted on a proposed law to legalize divorce. Initially, the House announced that 126 members had approved the measure, with 109 voting against it and 20 abstaining. However, a subsequent clarification indicated that 131 members voted in favor after former Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto questioned the approval process. Sotto argued that the divorce bill did not receive the required majority based on parliamentary rules, which necessitate a majority of the quorum to pass a bill. This discrepancy has raised questions about the legitimacy of the vote, with a simple majority being either 127 or 128 of the 255 members present during the voting.

What are the Implications of the House Voting Controversy?

The issue raised by Sotto regarding the House voting procedure has opened the door for critics to challenge the measure’s passage. While Escudero respects parliamentary courtesy, he acknowledges that the procedural concerns may be used as a basis to question the approval of the divorce bill. “Malawak ang spectrum ng definition ng divorce,” Escudero noted, pointing out the broad and varied interpretations of divorce.

What is the Senate’s Next Step on the Divorce Bill?

In the Senate, the committee on women has already approved a counterpart divorce bill. However, it has not yet been reported out to the Senate plenary for further discussion and voting. This delay means that the Senate’s decision on the divorce bill remains pending, with each senator expected to vote based on personal convictions.

How Might the Public Respond to the Senate Vote?

The public response to the Senate vote on the divorce bill is likely to be mixed, reflecting the diverse opinions on the issue. Supporters of divorce argue that it provides a necessary legal option for couples in irreparable marriages, while opponents often cite religious and moral objections. Escudero’s insistence on a conscience vote underscores the complexity and sensitivity of the issue, as senators navigate their personal beliefs and the expectations of their constituents.

What Does the Future Hold for Divorce Legislation in the Philippines?

As the debate over divorce legislation continues in the Philippines, the Senate’s approach under Escudero’s leadership will be crucial. With a focus on personal conscience and individual beliefs, the outcome remains uncertain. The controversy surrounding the House vote adds another layer of complexity, potentially affecting the bill’s progress. Ultimately, the decision will reflect a balance between modernizing marital laws and respecting deeply held cultural and religious values.

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