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Bill That Seeks to Legalize Absolute Divorce Filed in the Senate
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  • Bill that legalizes absolute divorce filed in the Senate

    A number of senators have been vocal about their disinterest in legalizing divorce in the country. Last December 2018, however, Senator Risa Hontiveros filed Senate Bill No. 2134, otherwise known as the Divorce Act of 2018, which seeks to institute absolute divorce in the country.

    The House of Representatives (HOR) swiftly passed its version of the divorce bill back in March 2018 — the first time in the history of the country that legislation on divorce has progressed this far in Congress.

    The Senate's divorce bill aims to protect not just the sanctity of the Filipino family, but also the individuals. The bill proposes to allow Filipinos "being compromised by the inability to break free from irremediably broken marriages" to "start anew in healthier family and living arrangements," Hontiveros explained. Grounds for divorce include psychological incapacity, violation of the Violence Against Women and their Children Act (VAWC), and irreconcilable differences, among others.

    The measure provided safeguards for spouses who might use force, fraud, or intimidation to compel the other spouse to petition for divorce. It also penalizes parents who will fail to provide court-ordered child support or any spouse who fail to provide court-ordered alimony with a possible prison sentence and fine of P100,000 to P300,000 on top of the unpaid child support or alimony.

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    Marian Rivera shares, her unborn baby looks like Dingdong!


    The couple will only have to wait until the summer to welcome their baby boy, but her excitement has motivated Marian to do a 4D ultrasound of their baby. She's proud to share, again, that the little one also looks like his dad.

    "[Si Zia] nung lumaki, naging ako, pero nung maliit siya, kamukha siya ng tatay niya," Marian said in an interview with Pep.ph at her press launch for Nido 3+ with her three-year-old daughter. "Ito ngayon, si baby boy, nung pino-4D namin siya, naku, kamukha talaga ni Dong! Yung panga pa lang, sabi ko talaga, 'Ay, kayo na naman? Kayu-kayo na lang magkamukha?'"

    The 34-year-old preggo actress also shared that they almost have a name for their soon-to-arrive son. They're considering only two names. "Pero tinitimbang pa at humihingi pa daw siya [si Dingdong] kay Lord ng sign kung ano sa dalawa na yun," she said.

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    Jennylyn Mercado bonds with biological mom

    Jennylyn and biological mom Jinkee Pineda having lunch together before the latter flies back to London.
    PHOTO BY screenshot from @mercadojenny/Instagram Stories
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    Jennylyn posted a photo of her and her biological mom, Jinkee Pineda, before the latter flew back to London, where she is based. "Safe flight, mom!" the actress wrote on her Instagram Stories. Before saying adieu, the actress also shared a clip of their bonding moments in a bar, and during dinner get-togethers.


    Jennylyn and her long-time boyfriend Dennis Trillo, together with his mom Rita Ho, also met up with Jinkee when they visited Rome, Italy in December last year, based on the actress' Instagram feed. In 2017, Jennylyn also reconnected with her estranged dad, Noli Pineda, when she and Dennis visited South Korea. Many of the couple's followers speculated in the comments that wedding bells may soon be ringing for them.

    Jennylyn grew up with her adoptive parents, Roger and Lydia Mercado, both of whom have already passed away. Pep.ph reported that she's had a falling out with her biological mom since she spoke about the abuses she had suffered in the hands of her stepfather while Jinkee was working overseas.

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    HOR finalizes bill lowering age of criminal liability to age 9

    After months of deliberations, the House of Representatives (HOR) Committee on Justice had finalized the bill seeking to lower the age of criminal liability and responsibility to age 9, the Philippine News Agency reported. That's six years younger than what is stipulated in the current law, or the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006 (Republic Act 9344) which states that children 15 years and below are exempt from criminal liability.


    The reason for it, according to Oriental Mindoro Rep. Doy Leachon, is the "alarming increase in the number of syndicates using minors to perpetrate criminal acts," a statement they based on "recent news and reports." He added that the proposed amendment also seeks to protect children from being manipulated by criminal syndicates to evade prosecution and punishment.

    A similar bill has been filed in the Senate, lowering the age of criminal liability from 15 to 13 on the same grounds that criminal syndicates exploit the provisions of the law by using minors to commit crimes.

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    PH ranks 16th country for efforts against sexual abuse in kids

    A study showed that the Philippines got an overall score of 55.3 when it comes to how the government is combating the scourge of sexual abuse and exploitation in children. The United Kingdom received the top spot with the score o0f 82.7. Sweden and Canada completed the top 3, GMA News reported.

    The ranking was based on four indicators: environment; legal framework; government commitment and capacity; and, engagement of industry, civil society, and media. These indicate how the countries could respond and address sexual violence against children.

    The Philippines showed high scores for both the overall environment and legal framework. The first is defined as "safety and stability of a country, the social protections available to families and children, and whether norms lend to open discussion of the issue." The latter is "the degree to which a country provides legal or regulatory protections for children from sexual exploitation or abuse."

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