‘What to do when you find out you are wife No. 2’

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Members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP)-Cebu City chapter provided free legal advice to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) here in Hong Kong, many of whom complained of marital problems.

Lawyers Jose Glenn Capanas, the chapter president, and Mark Anthony Gaviola
answered questions from distressed
OFWs during the “Idulog Mo kay Atorni
7” forum at the Philippine Consulate General (PCG).

One OFW complained that she discovered that her husband of 23 years had already been married five years before they tied the knot.

“Ikinasal po kami nung 1995 but I found
out that my husband, may first marriage
siya which is 1990. I have a copy of their
marriage certificate,” said the OFW.

“Gusto ko ibalik singleness ko. Gusto
ko i-clear yung pagiging single talaga
ako,” she added.

Gaviola said the OFW’s problem was easy to resolve since her marriage was clearly bigamous because her husband already had a wife.

He said the domeatic worker could ask the courts in the Philippines to nullify her marriage so that she would again be considered as single.

Another OFW said she discovered that
her husband was again philandering even after she had repeatedly forgiven him.

She added that he was not supporting their children.

“Meron siyang babae. Forgiven na three
times pero nung nandito na ako, parang
ganun pa rin. Nagbibigay lang siya ng
P3,000 kung gusto niya,” the OFW said.

“And then itong dalawang magkasunod
na sweldo, wala siyang binibigay. E alam
niya yung bunso namin nagma-maintain
ng lifetime na gamot sa tenga at sa dugo
dahil pareho kaming anemic,” she said.

Gaviola said the OFW could file a petition
seeking financial aid under the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children law.