Divorce in the Philippines Essay Example
Divorce in the Philippines Essay Example

Divorce in the Philippines Essay Example

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  • Pages: 11 (2764 words)
  • Published: November 24, 2016
  • Type: Research Paper
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The Divorce Bill, also referred to as House Bill 1799, has been under review by the House committee on revision of laws since July 27, 2010 in the Philippine Court. This contentious matter has sparked debates among lawyers, journalists, politicians, and religious leaders regarding its potential inclusion into the Family Code of the Philippine Constitution. On March 11, 2013, this ongoing issue led to a debate within class E04-2013 with the topic "This house believes that the Philippine Government should pass the Divorce Bill." Both sides presented their arguments and defended their positions. However, before reaching a verdict, it is crucial to evaluate which side provided stronger and more credible arguments. This article will analyze each speaker's arguments starting with Junna Obogne who was designated as the Prime Minister (PM).

The speaker p


resented the motion and stated their position on the Divorce Bill in the Philippine context. They also provided a clear definition of terms, citing specific laws. It was emphasized that arguments involving religious views would not be considered in the debate, as the Catholic Church has always opposed the Divorce Bill. This point favors their viewpoint.

After discussing the parameters, she referenced the head of Gabriela Party List, who provided insight into the history of divorce in the Philippines. This is an invaluable source as the party list has been actively supporting the Divorce Bill since its filing in the country, bolstering her credibility. Additionally, as the Prime Minister, she presented the government's first argument: The Divorce Bill aligns with Article 2 Section 12 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution. This article emphasizes the state's recognition of the sacred nature

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of family life and its commitment to safeguarding and reinforcing families as fundamental autonomous social institutions.

The Philippine Government is responsible for the safety of families in the country, as stated by the speaker. This responsibility arises from the increasing number of couples seeking divorce, which has resulted in a backlog in the Judicial Court. Despite not being able to elaborate on this claim due to time constraints, the speaker made a mistake by exceeding the allotted time. Nonetheless, she presented valid arguments, although some lacked sufficient explanation, fulfilling her role as the PM.

The Opposition Leader, Neil Negrite, voiced the opposition's position on the issue and asserted that the Philippine Government should solely allow annulment as a legal means to terminate marriages. He countered the Prime Minister's argument by stating that the previous existence of divorce does not automatically justify its current need. This serves as an effective rebuttal because the country's historical utilization of divorce is not a convincing argument; it does not logically follow that just because divorce was previously permitted, it should be implemented now.

In his rebuttal, the speaker contended that divorce is redundant because annulment already serves as a valid reason for ending a marriage. However, he did not specify which particular reason or ground he was referring to, thus weakening his argument. Furthermore, he presented an opposing viewpoint claiming that divorce offers a swift but impractical solution for resolving marital issues promptly. Nevertheless, he failed to provide any explanation as to why it is considered "impractical," thereby making his statement inconsequential.

In addition to his argument about divorce leading couples to hastily end their

marriage and remarry without limitations, he failed to acknowledge that the terms "tend" and "tendency" lack credibility, weakening his arguments. Furthermore, he veered off-topic by suggesting that family issues should be resolved through communication, which is unrelated to the current discussion.

According to the speaker, research conducted by a doctor from an international university suggests that individuals who have remarried have likely gone through divorce before. The speaker argues that this finding supports the idea that those who have remarried might be more prone to divorcing again because they may feel more confident based on their previous divorce experience. However, it is important to note that the speaker's claim is flawed due to his generalization, while the source statement uses the word "include." This fallacy of Non-Sequitur renders his argument illogical and invalid.

The speaker concluded that the opposition's stance is contradictory as they rely on annulment, despite not supporting it or divorce. The speech had issues with fallacies and exceeding the time limit, similar to the Prime Minister's actions. Faith Decangchon, the Deputy Prime Minister, then countered LO's arguments by stating that annulment may not always be the most practical option for Filipino couples seeking to end their marriages.

The speaker defends the Divorce Bill by asserting that it has more grounds for separation compared to annulment. She proceeds to enumerate the specific grounds for both forms of separation. Notably, she highlights that physical violence is considered a valid reason in the Divorce Bill but not in annulment. Consequently, she advocates for their position in government by highlighting the increasing number of Filipino women who suffer abuse and are trapped in

marriages. Their strong opposition to this violence underscores their belief in the necessity and rationality of the bill.

During her speech, the opposition raised a Point of Information (POI), taking up an unreasonable amount of time. However, the DPM was able to respond using statistics from the Philippine National Police Statistics, which is a highly reliable source. In addition, she emphasized the practicality of the Divorce Bill by highlighting that divorce only costs Php 80,000 to Php 100,000, whereas annulment expenses exceed Php 200,000. Considering that the debate focuses on the Philippines and a majority of the population belongs to the middle class or lower, it is reasonable to conclude that divorce is more practical in this context.

The author's arguments are not only sound and valid, but they are also supported by credible sources. This combination greatly strengthens their speech and successfully defends their stance. Furthermore, the author delivers their speech with admirable conviction, showcasing a profound understanding of the topic at hand. In contrast to the Deputy Prime Minister's statement, the Deputy Leader of Opposition (DLO), Prio Opelanio, provides a rebuttal that emphasizes annulment as a solution for cases involving physical violence, thus contradicting the DPM's assertion.

The DLO argued that his statement was supported by the Judicial Court of the Philippines, as it included physical, emotional, and financial violence in the definition of psychological incapacity. This is one of the grounds for annulment. However, this specific wording is not found in the law itself. After further investigation, it was determined that the DPM's statement was more accurate.

In regard to his points, he contended that divorce is

not the answer to the ongoing violence against women and children. He even suggested that divorce could worsen the violence as it denies individuals the chance to change and grow. He supported this view by asserting that those who divorce because of violence might continue to be violent towards others. However, depending on uncertain terms like "can" and "could" weakens his arguments.

The text disputes the mistaken idea that violence will occur and escalate again based on a few isolated incidents. It also presents evidence from a reputable US doctor, who claims that children from divorced families have higher levels of depression and social isolation compared to those from intact families.

The erroneous claim is that the usage of the word "can" makes it flawed, but the source is reliable because it uses "most" which statistics can support. However, the argument has a flaw because arguments and divorce are similar in terms of separating spouses, so the children experience the same environment. Making a crucial contradiction, he states that annulment already covers some or most areas of the divorce bill.

Saying that annulment only addresses some or even most of the reasons for divorce implies that divorce encompasses more reasons, contradicting their stance against the Divorce Bill. Overall, their arguments were weak in supporting the opposition, and they exceeded the time limit for their speech. Migs Calampiano, the third speaker on the government side, did not provide direct rebuttals but mentioned they would be covered in his speech.

His first argument was that the Divorce Bill would not be abused because lawyers would verify the cost of filing for divorce. This

counters the opposition's argument that people tend to abuse divorce. Additionally, this argument is valid and reliable as long as all lawyers fulfill their duties honestly and responsibly, or else it will become a topic of debate. As for his second argument, he stated that the Divorce Bill does not demolish marriage but instead shows respect for it.

The leader of the Gabriela party list emphasized that permitting someone to stay in an abusive marriage contradicts the sanctity of marriage. This argument aligns with society's moral compass and its perception of what is right and wrong. In summary, he admitted that divorce is not a perfect remedy but it remains a viable alternative for Filipinos. By acknowledging this, he acknowledges that divorce may have flaws, yet it empowers Filipinos to make their own decision and advocate for it.

Despite the lack of acknowledgement for annulment as an alternative, it is important to recognize the strength and validity of his arguments. These arguments served to both support their position and counter the claims of the opposition. Commendation is deserved for his consistent statements, as promised at the beginning of his speech. Pio Valdez, the third speaker against the motion, reinforced his colleagues' arguments through his rebuttals.

The speaker contended that divorce is an ineffective way to end a marriage, stating that it lacks supporting evidence and is simply an easy way out. However, the government has already proven that divorce is a viable solution for ending marriages. In addition, the speaker offered an alternative strategy by proposing a preventive measure instead of a corrective one. This new proposal aims to tackle marital problems

before they escalate, ultimately eliminating the necessity for a Divorce Bill. The initial suggestion involves incorporating marriage counseling into the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in order to evaluate marital issues.

The proposal aims to tackle the problem of couples divorcing because of illegal acts like drugs and physical violence. It suggests holding the offending spouse accountable rather than attributing the marital problems solely to the relationship itself. Consequently, this would lead to appropriate legal consequences for the responsible spouse. Additionally, the proposal recommends taking steps to prevent financial exploitation within marriages by addressing issues such as tax and financial manipulations prior to getting married. These measures aim to address any financial wrongdoings that may occur in troubled marriages.

Although it can be argued that engaging in financial manipulations before marriage may lead to trust issues between couples, it is a realistic proposal that can address the flaws associated with the Divorce Bill, presenting arguments from the opposition side. Overall, the counter-proposal made by the speaker in support of the opposition side was exceptional, fulfilling their role in advancing the debate. In her first rebuttal, the Reply Speaker of the Government, Faith Decangchon, contested the notion that divorce offers a quick solution.

The speaker argued that in order to file for divorce, there must be a minimum of five years of separation. However, she failed to acknowledge that this is just one option and only one ground is necessary for filing. The opposition highlighted this flaw as a point of interest (POI), which consumed a significant amount of time. Despite the lengthy POI, the Reply Speaker did not provide a

satisfactory response.

The speaker could have stressed that divorce is not a quick fix because it requires a lengthy legal process in the Judicial Court with multiple stages before it can be initiated and processed. Furthermore, she refuted the claim that divorce leads to behavioral problems in children by pointing out that annulment, which also involves separating spouses, can have the same detrimental impact on children due to the similar environment they experience. However, she erred in stating that annulment solely deals with actions that took place prior to marriage.

The claim that psychological incapacity does not cover the period of marriage is incorrect. This was pointed out by the opposition and even acknowledged by the speaker herself during her DPM speech. She makes up for this error by providing the government side's final argument-rebuttal, which asserts that children are better off in a non-violent environment created after a divorce rather than remaining in a family where violence occurs. Although she had some flaws, her arguments effectively defend the government's position.

Prio, the Reply Speaker of the opposition and also the last speaker of the whole debate, reiterated that physical violence is not a valid argument for the government side. This point has already been dismissed as invalid. Furthermore, Prio stated that divorce does not strengthen the family and suggested that it weakens the foundation of the family, implying this through his final question to the audience.

The Reply Speaker of the Government has already countered the argument by stating that children benefit from a non-violent environment following a divorce, as opposed to remaining in a family where violence occurs. The

government emphasizes that divorce prevents children and women from being exposed to violence, thereby respecting the fundamental principles of family which exclude violence and aggression.

The Member of Government argued that divorce respects marriage rather than destroying it. He claimed that divorce allows those who have been hurt in marriage to exit and acknowledge the violation of vows. While his overall speaking improved, his final arguments were irrelevant to the debate. Before reaching a conclusion, it is crucial to address concerns raised by the audience during the debate. One major concern was the lack of explanation regarding the difference between divorce and annulment, apart from their grounds for separation. This ambiguity could have greatly benefited the debate if clarified. Although defining these terms was primarily the responsibility of the Prime Minister, both teams should have pointed out any shortcomings or misunderstandings. Therefore, both teams are responsible for this oversight. Moreover, substantial arguments were lacking in the debate as repetitive points were relied upon instead. Additionally, there were instances where speakers exceeded their allotted time and interruptions from Points of Information (POIs), disrupting the time balance of the debate.

Despite this, the debate was beneficial and thought-provoking, testing both the debaters' abilities and the subject matter. In conclusion, the government side presented two remaining arguments that support their stance, which means these arguments remain valid despite rebuttals. These points highlight that divorce is a practical method for ending a marriage and also upholds the importance of family by addressing issues of physical violence and creating a safer environment for children.

The opposition side has one remaining argument: the brilliant counter-proposal by their third

speaker. Overall, there were four rounds in the debate, with the government side winning three and the opposition winning one. The first win came from the Prime Minister, who fulfilled her duties and pointed out fallacies committed by the Leader of Opposition (LO). The second win came from the Deputy Prime Minister, who presented strong, convincing arguments in contrast to the Deputy Leader of Opposition (DLO).

The assessment of the third round proved challenging due to the strong arguments presented by both speakers. However, the Opposition's outstanding counter-proposal gave them an advantage in this round. In the final round, the Government's Reply Speaker emerged as the winner by presenting remaining arguments from their side, while the Opposition's arguments were deemed invalid. In terms of POIs and penalties, the government raised one POI, which was responded to by one overtime speaker.

In the debate, the opposition faced two interruptions, one of which was answered and one remained unanswered. Additionally, they had two extra speakers who exceeded their allotted time. The award for the best speaker goes to Faith Decangchon from the government side as she displayed unwavering confidence and unaffected by the interruptions. Moreover, her arguments were consistently convincing throughout her speech. Considering both the entire paper and debate summary, it is clear that the opposition incurred more penalties and deductions due to their fallacies and contradictions.

The government side of this debate with the motion, “This house believes that the Philippine Government should pass the Divorce Bill,” wins. They had more time for both speakers and POI’s. Additionally, the assessments made for each of the four rounds show that the government

side is leading the debate with three wins to one. This is because they have the most valid and sound arguments, commit the least fallacies and illogical reasonings, and can defend their stand until the end of the debate.

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