Oliver Bugarin 2 0 0 4 min to read

Solons advocate for legal acceptance of a church-issued annulment.

A bill that aims to make church-decreed annulments of marriage more affordable and accessible for Filipinos has been filed in the House of Representatives.

Representatives Yedda Romualdez and Jude Acidre of the Tingog Party list reportedly filed House Bill 1593, also known as the planned Church Nullity Act, on Friday.

The MPs stated in the bill’s explanatory note that a marriage solemnized by the church should have both canonical and civil ramifications.

They asserted that if marriage could be lawfully entered into under church law, it follows that it could also be legally dissolved or canceled.

“If such marriages are recognized by the State, it is only fitting that the very church that solemnized the marriage should also have the right to rule that attendant ailment which constituted a marriage null, and its results binding upon the State,” they argued.

In accordance with the canons or precepts of the church or religious sect, a marriage that has been validly and legally solemnized by a priest, minister, rabbi, or presiding elder of any church or religious sect in the Philippines and subsequently annulled, dissolved, or declared null should have the same effect as a decree of annulment, dissolution, or declaration of nullity issued by a competent court.

Additionally, it stipulates that the rules of Executive Order 209, generally known as the “Family Code of the Philippines,” must be followed in determining the status of children of marriages that are the subject of a church annulment order.

Their common offspring born or conceived before the issuance of the church annulment shall be considered legitimate if the basis for the annulment order is not similar to any of the grounds given in the Family Code of the Philippines.

Any former spouse may remarry after fulfilling the requirements of the preceding paragraph and Article 52 of the Family Code of the Philippines; otherwise, the future marriage shall be void and unconstitutional, subject to any restrictions imposed by the church or other religious sect.

The involved spouse must provide a true certified copy of the church annulment decree recorded with the relevant civil registry in order to get a marriage license.

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