Philippines moves closer to allowing divorce

The Philippines' lower house of Congress has passed a divorce bill on the third reading, moving the country closer to legalisation.

The bill passed despite opposition from President Rodrigo Duterte, who had his own marriage legally annulled.

However, for divorce to become legal the Senate also has to pass a bill in favour, and even then Mr Duterte could still use his veto to strike it down.

Worldwide, divorce is only illegal in the Philippines and Vatican City.

Over 80% of people in the Philippines describe themselves as Catholic, and the church has a powerful influence in the country.

Congresswoman Emmi de Jesus said the bill was filed because of a "clamour of women trapped in abusive relationships", who need the government to give them a means out of "irreparable marriages".

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