Cayetano seeks to refile divorce bill in 19th Congress

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 23) – Senator Pia Cayetano vowed on Thursday to refile the controversial divorce bill in the 19th Congress.

Cayetano underscored the importance of protecting the two parties involved in a marriage. as she pushes anew for the bill's passage under the administration of incoming President Bongbong Marcos.

"With all due respect to the religious community, I think all of them understand that there are circumstances where women, in particular, but it can happen to men of course, (that) their lives are endangered, (and) both their mental and physical well-being are jeopardized," Cayetano told reporters in a press conference.

The controversial divorce bill failed to pass in both of the country's legislative chambers since 1999 due to opposition of numerous religious groups in the conservatively Catholic country.

In the 18th Congress, the proposed Absolute Divorce Act was approved in the committee level of the House of Representatives. However, the bill had no progress since the measure secured the nod of the House Committee on Population and Family Relations last August.

Bills advocating divorce that have been filed in the Senate are gathering dust.

During the campaign period, Marcos said he is in favor to legalize divorce in the country but it should not be an "easy option" for married couples intending to part ways.

Aside from Vatican City, the Philippines remains the only country in the world where divorce is illegal.

CNN Philippines correspondent Eimor Santos contributed to this report.