“Diverged for Divorce”
The House Bill 1799, most commonly known as the Divorce Bill, has been filed on the Philippine Court since July 27, 2010 and is now a pending case in the House committee on revision of laws. For more than two years now, there has been an ongoing debate by lawyers, journalists, politicians and even religious leaders whether or not this Bill should be passed and be included in the Family Code of the Philippine Constitution. This unsettled issue has lead ta a debate in the class of E04-2013 last 11th of March 2013 with the motion, “This house believes that the Philippine Government should pass the Divorce Bill.” Both the government side and the opposition side have presented their arguments well and has defended their own stands. But before giving any verdict and concluding into a winnner, the question to ask is, “Who gave better and trustworthy arguments and has truly justified their side? Is it the Government? Or the Opposition?” To make this decision, a further examination of the debate through each speaker will be conducted in this paper.
The first speaker of the debate, or more often called as the Prime Minister(PM), was Junna Obogne. She gave the aforementioned motion, stated their stand, defined the terms Philippine Government and the Divorce Bill, and set the parameters of the debate in the Philippine context and disregard arguments that include religious views. The definition of terms were explained very well in detail as the speaker was able to refer to specific laws and the terms she used were clear. As for the parameters, it is in favor to them that the arguments incorporated with religious views were removed from the debate because the the Catholic Church has been against the Divorce Bill from the beginning. Thus, this is a point to them. After the parameters, she quoted the head of Gabriela Party List talk about the history of divorce in the Philippines. This is a great source of information because the said party list has been advocating the Divorce Bill since it was filed in the country, approving her credibility. As the Prime Minister, she gave the first argument of the government side saying, The Divorce Bill is a commitment to Article 2 Section 12 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, which states that the state recognizes the sanctity of family life, and shall protect and strengthen the family as basic autonomous social institution. This simply means that the Philippine Government has the responsibility to ensure the safety of the families in the country. She supported this by stating that the number of couples who want to terminate their marriage has piled up in the Judicial Court, thus the need for the Divorce Bill. It is unfortunate, though, that she was not able to explain this claim further because her time was up. She made a mistake here for speaking beyond the time limit. Overall, she gave valid arguments, althought not all were sound because of lack of explanation, and was able to fulfill her role as the PM.
The next speaker Neil Negrite, the Opposition Leader, stated the stand of the opposition, and added that the Philippine Government should only allow annulment as means to terminate marriage. He gave his rebuttal to the Prime Minister and said that having divorce before does not justify the need to have divorce today. This credits as a good rebuttal because the history of divorce in the country does qualify as a weak argument since it is non-sequitur, meaning it does not completely follow that since the country had divorce before, it should be implemented at the present time. He gave another rebuttal, saying that a reason for divorce is already in annulment but he did not not specify which reason or ground he is talking about, making his rebuttal useless. Accordingly, he gave the first arguments for the opposition side saying that divorce gives a fast yet impractical solution to end marital problems swiftly. He stated this without explaining why it was...
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