Fact check - gov't services/laws

5 years of separation not ground for annulment

Rappler.com, Ailla Dela Cruz

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5 years of separation not ground for annulment
The bill aiming to amend the annulment provision in the Family Code of the Philippines has not yet been passed in the 19th Congress

Claim: Five years of separation can be ground for annulment. 

Rating: FALSE

Why we need to fact-check: The post containing the claim has 1,300 shares, 629 comments, and 2,300 reactions, as of writing. 

The bottom line: No law has been passed to amend provisions of Executive Order No. 209, or the Family Code of the Philippines, that will include five years of separation as ground for annulment.

Still pending in Congress: House Bill No. 1532, a bill that seeks to amend the said law to include at least five years of separation as ground for annulment, has been pending with the committee on revision of laws since August 1 – more than three weeks since its filing in the 19th Congress on July 7, 2022. 

Bill refiled thrice: Surigao del Norte 2nd District Representative Robert Ace Barbers, its author, filed the same bill in 2016 during the 17th Congress and refiled it in 2019 during the 18th Congress. Both bills did not move forward from the committee level after first reading. 

The same proposed amendment was first filed in 2014 by then-Albay 2nd District representative Al Francis Bichara, but similar to the recent ones, it did not progress beyond committee level after first reading. 

Grounds for annulment: According to Article 45 of EO 209, a marriage may only be annulled for any of the following reasons: 

  • Marriage between persons 18 years old or over but below 21, solemnized without parental/guardian consent
  • Marriage that involves one of the parties having unsound mind
  • Marriage with consent obtained by fraud
  • Marriage with consent obtained by force, intimidation or undue influence
  • Incapability of consummation after marriage
  • Either of the party having a sexually-transmissible disease found to be serious and incurable 

– Ailla Dela Cruz/Rappler.com

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