House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez has engaged in linguistic contortion, peddling as only the “dissolution of marriage” the effects of a bill to legalize across the Philippines actions riddled with the hallmarks of divorce.
Why the charade, your honor?
Let us start with “dissolution.” A check with an English thesaurus shows that the word is synonymous with, among others, cessation, conclusion, end, ending and termination.
Yet the leader of the Lower House would like us to believe that what he and his colleagues intend to do, commandeer the law to align it with anti-marital arrangements between husband and wife does nothing in the way of divorce.
In a dissolution of marriage, Alvarez says, no divorce happens. Husband and wife, on account of unhappiness with each other simply go to court, agree on how to divide their properties, arrange for the custody of their children and sign a document signifying amenability this novel living scheme.
Let us go back to the 1987 Philippine Constitution.
“Marriage, as an inviolable social institution,” the Charter reads, “is the foundation of the family and shall be protected by the State.”
How in heaven, on earth or in the underworld, does tethering the fate of a spousal relationship to the ever-changing moods of husband and wife count as statutory marriage protection?
How come the speaker proposes the dissolution of marriage as a solution to a husband’s alcoholism or a wife’s vicious gambling?
Last time we verified, fellowships to facilitate recovery from these addictions like Alcoholics Anonymous and Gamblers Anonymous remain in operation.
How come a legislator now seeks to indoctrinate the country with the message that forgiveness and reconciliation are inutile in the face of spousal unfaithfulness?
Let us turn to “inviolable.” The term means “never to be broken, infringed, or dishonored.”
How, pray tell, does a husband and wife’s parting of ways, with each bearing non-conjugal properties and rearing children in different settings, prevent in accordance with the Constitution marriage’s breaking, infringement or dishonor?
Alvarez’ pitch in favor of the marriage dissolution bill was spiked with a notice for the Catholic Church to mind its own business while he and like-minded lawmakers approve the legislation just before Christmas.
Now why would he expect the church to oppose the measure if it will, as he claimed, “strengthen marriage?”
Note well the Freudian slip in the bill’s name. The second meaning of the noun “dissolution” is “debauched living.”
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