SC: Legal wife has right over husband's remains

By Edu Punay, The Philippine Star

Posted at May 07 2014 03:07 AM | Updated as of May 07 2014 11:07 AM

MANILA, Philippines - When two women fight over the remains of a man, the right of the legal wife should prevail, the Supreme Court (SC) said in a recent ruling.

In a custody battle over the remains of a lawyer, the high court upheld the right of his wife over his live-in partner, in the matter of funeral arrangements.

The SC said the Civil Code gives to the legal family the right to hold the funeral for a deceased man, otherwise it would be disrespectful to the family.

“Controversies as to who should make arrangements for the funeral of a deceased man often aggravate the bereavement of the family and disturb the solemnity, which should prevail in every funeral. It is for the purpose of preventing such controversies that the Code Commission saw it best to include the provisions on ‘Funerals’,” read the ruling penned by Associate Justice Jose Mendoza.

The high tribunal affirmed the decisions of the Court of Appeals issued in 2006 and 2008, which reversed an earlier ruling of a Quezon City court that awarded the lawyer’s remains to his partner.