Philippines Expands Grounds for Annulments

The Philippines Supreme Court expanded the grounds for marriage annulments in early March, the Philippines Inquirer reported. The Philippines is the only country aside from Vatican City that does not allow divorce. The new interpretation of the law allows a marriage to be annulled based on proven psychological incapacity that becomes apparent after the ceremony. Other grounds include forced marriage and fraud.

“The state should recognize that if you have a right to enter into a contract, you have the right to get out of it,” said Rep. Emerenciana De Jesus, who cosponsored a bill to legalize divorce in 2014. Rev. Ruben Tanseco, founder of the Jesuit-run Center for Family Ministries in Manila, said that a divorce is “a conscience decision that the Catholic Church does not agree with but the Catholic Church cannot stop,” according to Crux. A new Social Weather Stations poll found that a 60 percent majority of Filipinos support legalizing divorce, GMA News reported.

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