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Tomas EUGENIO v. Hon. Alejandro VELEZ be incapacitated to contract marriage.

In this case, petitioner has a

G.R. No. 85140 and 86470, May 17, 1990 subsisting marriage with another woman, a legal impediment, which
PADILLA J. disqualified him from even legally marrying Vitaliana.

The Court holds that the provisions of the Civil Code, unless
FACTS expressly providing to the contrary as in Article 144, when referring
to a "spouse" contemplate a lawfully wedded spouse. Eugenio vis-a-
1. Vitaliana Vargas was forcibly taken from her residence in 1987 vis Vitaliana was not a lawfully-wedded spouse to her; in fact, he
and confined by Eugenio in his palacial residence in Jasaan, Misamis was not legally capacitated to marry her in her lifetime.
Oriental. Vitaliana desired to escape but was allegedly deprive of her
liberty without any legal authority. The order of preference to give support under Art. 294 was used as
the basis of the award. Since there was no surviving spouse,
2. Sept. 27, 1988: Vitalianas full blood brothers and sisters, unaware ascendants or decendants, the Court is correct in awarding the
that Vitaliana has died already on Aug. 28, 1988, filed a petition for custody of the dead body of Vitaliana to her surviving brothers and
habeas corpus. At the time the petition was filed, it was alleged that sisters.
Vitaliana was 25 years old, single, and living with Tomas Eugenio.

3. Sept 28, 1988: respondent court order issued the habeas corpus,
but Eugenio refused to surrender the body of Vitaliana. He said that a
corpse cannot be a subject of habeas corpus.

4. Eugenio alleged that Vitaliana died of heart failure due to toxemia

of pregnancy in his residence. As her common law husband, he
claimed legal custody of her body. But he is legally married to
another woman.


Whether or not Eugenio, Vitalianas common law husband, has the

rightful custody over Vitalianas dead body.


No. Common law relationships produce a community of properties

and interests which is governed by law. Such form of co-ownership
requires that the man and woman living together must not in any way