On Imbestigador last weekend, they featured a Filipina who was “forced” to marry a Korean. The Filipina is 19 years old while the Korean man is 37. She claimed that she met the Korean through a friend. They went out as “friends” on several occasions, then the Korean started giving the Filipina presents. She learned later that she has been “arranged” to be married by her parents to the Korean man. She claimed that she didn’t want to marry the Korean but he (and the broker) threatened that they should pay back the money that the Korean had spent.
In the Philippines, mail-order bride or matchmaking is illegal. In South Korea, many couples met through matchmaking as it is an accepted way of finding a partner. In the Philippines, a 19 year old cannot marry without the consent of the parents. In the end, their marriage may be annulled because there was coercion or the girl was forced to marry the Korean man. Too bad that the Korean now has to face charges, but let this be a lesson for both parties. Good for the girl that she could still meet and marry a man she loves (hopefully) if her marriage is annulled. Did the parents receive some cash for marrying off their daughter? It wasn’t mentioned in the report. The Korean was also not interviewed to air his side.
Next year, the new immigration law for F-6 or spousal visa will take effect. Hopefully, that would help curb incidences of mail-order brides and of forced marriages. It may sound idealistic, but marriage is not just a “piece of paper” or a contract. It is a lifelong commitment of love.