Rep. Pablo John Garcia has taken the cudgels for beleaguered Judge Villarin of Toledo City, Cebu. The urgent task is to limit the discretion of the judicial and executive branches in deciding annulment cases and shield judges from unfounded charges of giving ‘quickie’ annulments. Bear with us as we discuss the neophyte congressman’s proposal:
First the period within which such cases are to be resolved have to yield to a mathematical formula. Let’s call this period At on the left hand side of the equation. On the right hand side are the so-called independent variables, namely:
- Cp=the period of courtship. The longer the courtship, living in sin, number of pre-marital quickies, the greater the chances of a happy marriage. But on the other hand, if the couple has spent so much time together and give up hope, they should know better, right? Ditto with the length of the marriage. In sum the effects of this variable cancel out.
- AAC =the average age of the children. The greater is this number the more quickly the courts should decide. The courts can also get depositions from the children.
- Cv=the value of the conjugal property. The richer is the marital coffers, the more quickly the courts should decide, because there is a lower probability of acrimonious litigation, except perhaps for the extremely greedy rich.
So we just have three independent variables, but the first two are of ambivalent sign. So why can’t we let the children decide through a vote if they are of voting age. If the average age is less than 18, then the decision period should be (18-AAC). That seems fair, doesn’t it?
Finally, for the exceptions to the rule:
- Suicide survivors, either spouse, should be granted immediate annulment;
- Ditto for victims of domestic abuse and violence;
- Ditto for childless couples who just want to be just friends again.
So here’s the equation:
Isn’t that simple enough? The only problem left is finding the value of ß, which can be done through well-established statistical methods. Now suppose ß=18, and the average age of the children is 18. Then the courts should decide the case within a year. Beautiful isn’t it? But you can do your own simulations if you wish.
For sure, the Catholic Church will object. But of late, the good holy fathers have begun to soften their position.
We would welcome your comments on this proposition. Really.