Kris must not go back to Joey, says Oreta

Posted: 11:13 PM (Manila Time) | Oct. 04, 2003
By Nini Valera
Inquirer News Service

THE END of the Kris Aquino-Joey Marquez affair must not stop at Joey's public apology to Kris and her acceptance of the apology.

If Kris's aunt, Senator Teresa Aquino-Oreta, would have her way, Congress should immediately pass a pending bill that would protect women against violence and other forms of abuse in domestic disputes.

The fact that most victims of spousal abuse often go back to the violent relationship has stunted the progress of the bill, said Oreta during a press lunch last Friday.

In case of a reconciliation, Oreta said she does "not want to know."

"That is what I'm afraid of," she said. "Right now, all I'm looking at is how I can pursue the domestic violence bill into a law. I hope it gets its chance. If we were able to pass the bill against trafficking of women, this should have a chance."

She said that with the bill, domestic violence against women will be treated as a public crime. This means that in cases of spousal abuse, the suit will be filed by the people of the Philippines.

But Oreta felt Kris had done the right thing in forgiving Joey and withdrawing the cases she had filed against him.

"Over my advocacy is a sense of forgiveness, which has a higher degree (of importance)," Oreta said. "It's forgiveness in the sense that God forgives us. But you don't go back. You start your life anew."

It is not farfetched that Kris would renew her relationship with Joey, a source observed.

"She was no longer haggard when she faced the camera last Thursday to say her final piece on the split," the source said. "There was a spark in her eyes. From the start, I was sure she would forgive Joey. She loves him more than he loves her."

The opposition senator admitted that she was shocked at how Kris could have let herself be abused during her one-and-a-half year relationship with Joey.

"No. 1, I was shocked," Oreta said . "No. 2, I said, 'Wow, ang tapang niya (She's very brave).' No. 3, I thought of Cory (former President Aquino, Kris' mom). My heart bled for her.

"No. 4, my advocacy came in. No matter how provoked a man is by a woman, he still does not have the right to hit the woman."

While she felt her sister-in-law's pain, Oreta does not want the same thing to happen to her.

"I prayed, like, 'Dear Lord, dear Lord, please don't give me the same pain,'" the senator said "I have two daughters myself."

Often described as the aunt who mirrors Kris' character the most, Oreta said she might have done the same thing her niece did.

"I would have left the guy, but I wouldn't be bold enough to tell the world what happened," she admitted. "I'd be strong enough to bear it alone."

Despite the heightened interest that Kris' revelations sparked in the media and with the public, Oreta said this would not jump-start any effort to pass the pending bill into law.

"Remember (Ma. Teresa) Carlson?" she said. "They made a big fuss when she committed suicide, but Congress still did not do anything about it. They always relegate (incidents of domestic violence to a lower level) as a domestic spat. Wala talaga tayong laban (We're really helpless against that mindset)."


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