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G.R. No.

105625 January 24, 1994

Spouses Vicente Benitez and Isabel Chipongian-Benitez owned various properties in
Laguna. Isabel died in 198 while Vicente died in 1989. Vicente died intestate.
!"ter Vicente#s death$ his sister and nephew "iled a case "or issuance o" letters o"
ad%inistration o" Vicente&s estate. 'he( clai% that Isable and Vicente were childless and
that one )arissa Benitez-Badua who was raised and cared b( the% since childhood is
not their child and was not legall( adopted b( the%.
)arissa opposed the petition and alleged that she is the sole heir o" deceased Vicente
and capable o" ad%inistering his estate. She presented Certi"icate o" Live Birth$ as one
o" her evidences to prove her clai%.
'he trial court decided in "avor o" )arissa and dis%issed the petition o" Vicente#s sister
and nephew. 'he trial court relied on !rticles 1** and 1+, o" the -a%il( Code on
i%pugning the legiti%ac( o" the child.
'he appellate court reversed the trial court ad held that !rticles 1** and 1+, o" the
-a%il( Code are not applicable.
!re !rticles 1** and 1+, o" the -a%il( Code applicable in this case.
/o. !rticles 1*0$ 1**$ 1+, and 1+1 o" the -a%il( Code do not conte%plate a situation$
li1e in the instant case$ where a child is alleged not to be the child o" nature or biological
child o" a certain couple. 2ather$ these articles govern a situation where a husband 3or
his heirs4 denies as his own a child o" his wi"e. 'hus$ under !rticle 1**$ it is the husband
who can i%pugn the legiti%ac( o" said child.
!s regards the Birth Certi"icate which lists )arissa as the child o" Isabel and Vicente$
the court said that it is highl( 5uestionable and suspicions. 6nder !rticle 01, o" the /ew
Civil Code$ is states that$ 7the boo1s %a1ing up the Civil 2egistr( and all docu%ents
relating thereto shall be considered public docu%ents and shall be prima facie evidence
o" the "acts therein stated.7 'he totalit( o" contrar( evidence presented b( the sister and
nephew o" Vicente show that Isabel did not beco%e pregnant as testi"ied to b( the
witnesses. !lso the 8eed o" 9:tra-;udicial Settle%ent o" the 9state o" the 8eceased
Isabel Chipongian e:ecuted b( Vicente hi%sel" and b( Isabel#s brother$ stated that the(
are the sole heirs o" the deceased Isabel Chipongian because she died without
descendants or ascendants7. In e:ecuting this 8eed$ Vicente e""ectivel( repudiated the
Certi"icate o" Live Birth o" )arissa where it appeared that Vicente was )arissa#s "ather.
'here"ore$ )arissa#s petition be"ore the Supre%e Court was dis%issed.