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Eugenio vs Velez

Eugenio vs Velez
185 SCRA 45
Vitaliana Vargas brothers and sisters unaware of the formers death on August 28, 1988 filed a petition for Habeas
Corpus on September 27, 1988 before the RTC of Misamis Oriental alleging that she was forcible taken from her
residence sometime in 1987 and was confined by the herein petitioner, Tomas Eugenio in his palacial residence in
Jasaan, Misamis Oriental. The court then issued a writ of habeas corpus but petitioner refused to surrender the
Vitalianas body to the sheriff on the ground that a corpse cannot be subjected to habeas corpus proceedings.
Vitaliana, 25 year old single, died of heart failure due to toxemia of pregnancy in Eugenios residence. The court
ordered that the body should be delivered to a funeral parlor for autopsy but Eugenio assailed the lack of
jurisdiction of the court.
ISSUE: Whether or not the petitioner can claim custody of the deceased.
The court held that the custody of the dead body of Vitaliana was correctly awarded to the surviving brothers and
sisters pursuant to Section 1103 of the Revised Administrative Code which provides:
Persons charged with duty of burial- if the deceased was an unmarried man or woman or a child and left any kin; the
duty of the burial shall devolve upon the nearest kin of the deceased.
Albeit, petitioner claims he is the spouse as contemplated under Art. 294 of the Civil Code, Philippine law does not
recognize common law marriages where a man and a woman not legally married who cohabit for many years as
husband and wife, who represent themselves to the public as husband and wife, and who are reputed to be husband
and wife in the community where they live may be considered legally mauled in common law jurisdictions. In addition,
it requires that the man and woman living together must not in any way be incapacitated to contract marriage.
Whereas, the petitioner has a subsisting marriage with another woman, legal impediment that disqualified him from
even legally marrying Vitaliana.

> Jose Consuegra was employed as a shop foreman of the Office of the District Engineer in Surigao Del Norte.
> When he was still alive, he contracted two marriages:

First Rosario Diaz; 2 children = Jose Consuegra Jr. and Pedro but both predeceased him

2nd Basilia Berdin; 7 children. (this was contracted in GF while the first marriage subsisted)

> Being a GSIS member when he died, the proceeds of his life insurance were paid by the GSIS to Berdin and her children who were the
beneficiaries named in the policy.
> Since he was in the govt service for 22.5028 years, he was entitled to retirement insurance benefits, for which no beneficiary was
> Both families filed their claims with the GSIS, which ruled that the legal heirs were Diaz who is entitled to one-half or 8/16 of the retirement
benefits and Berdin and her children were entitled to the remaining half, each to receive an equal share of 1/16.
> Berdin went to CFI on appeal. CFI affirmed GSIS decision.

To whom should the retirement insurance benefits be paid?

Both families are entitled to half of the retirement benefits.
The beneficiary named in the life insurance does NOT automatically become the beneficiary in the retirement insurance. When Consuegra,
during the early part of 1943, or before 1943, designated his beneficiaries in his life insurance, he could NOT have intended those
beneficiaries of his life insurance as also the beneficiaries of his retirement insurance because the provisions on retirement insurance under
the GSIS came about only when CA 186 was amended by RA 660 on June 18, 1951.

Sec. 11(b) clearly indicates that there is need for the employee to file an application for retirement insurance benefits when he becomes a
GSIS member and to state his beneficiary. The life insurance and the retirement insurance are two separate and distinct systems of benefits
paid out from 2 separate and distinct funds.

In case of failure to name a beneficiary in an insurance policy, the proceeds will accrue to the estate of the insured. And when there exists
two marriages, each family will be entitled to one-half of the estate.