Case Digest on Donation
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CASE: QUILALA vs. ALCANTARA
merely on a private instrument, i.e., the first page of the instrument.
TOPIC: MAKING ANG ACCEPTANCE OF DONATION We disagree. G.R No.: 132681 December 3, 2001 FACTS: On February 20, 1981, Catalina Quilala (donor) executed a "Donation of Real Property Inter Vivos" in favor of Violeta Quilala (donee) over a parcel of land located in Sta. Cruz, Manila and registered in her name. The "Donation of Real Property Inter Vivos" consists of two pages. The first page contains the deed of donation itself, and is signed on the bottom portion by Catalina Quilala and Violeta Quilala, and two instrumental witnesses. The second page contains the Acknowledgment, which states merely that Catalina Quilala personally appeared before the notary public and acknowledged that the donation was her free and voluntary act and deed. There appear on the left-hand margin of the second page the signatures of Catalina Quilala and one of the witnesses, and on the right-hand margin the signatures of Violeta Quilala and the other witness On November 7, 1983, Catalina Quilala died. Violeta Quilala likewise died on May 22, 1984. Petitioner Ricky Quilala alleges that he is the surviving son of Violeta Quilala. Meanwhile, respondents Gliceria Alcantara, Leonora Alcantara, Ines Reyes and Juan Reyes, claiming to be Catalina's only surviving relatives within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity instituted an action for the declaration of nullity of the donation inter vivos, and for the cancellation of the TCT in the name of Violeta Quilala. The trial court rendered a decision declaring null and void the deed of donation of real property inter vivos executed by Catalina Quilala in favor of Violeta Quilala. The trial court found that since it was acknowledged before a notary public only by the donor, Catalina, there was no acceptance by Violeta of the donation in a public instrument. The decision was affirmed by the CA. ISSUE: Whether or not the donation executed by Catalina in favor of Violeta is valid HELD: valid even if the acknowledgment was only signed by the donor Below the terms and stipulations of the donation, the donor, donee and their witnesses affixed their signature. However, the Acknowledgment appearing on the second page mentioned only the donor, Catalina Quilala. Thus, the trial court ruled that for Violeta's failure to acknowledge her acceptance before the notary public, the same was set forth
As provided for in Section 112, paragraph 2 of PD No. 1529, the second page of the deed of donation, on which the Acknowledgment appears, was signed by the donor and one witness on the left-hand margin. The donee and the other witness signed on the right hand margin. Surely, the requirement that the contracting parties and their witnesses should sign on the left-hand margin of the instrument is not absolute. The intendment of the law merely is to ensure that each and every page of the instrument is authenticated by the parties. The requirement is designed to avoid the falsification of the contract after the same has already been duly executed by the parties. Hence, a contracting party affixes his signature on each page of the instrument to certify that he is agreeing to everything that is written thereon at the time of signing. Simply put, the specification of the location of the signature is merely directory. The fact that one of the parties signs on the wrong side of the page does not invalidate the document. In the same vein, the lack of an acknowledgment by the donee before the notary public does not also render the donation null and void. The instrument should be treated in its entirety. It cannot be considered a private document in part and a public document in another part. The fact that it was acknowledged before a notary public converts the deed of donation in its entirety a public instrument. The fact that the donee was not mentioned by the notary public in the acknowledgment is of no moment. To be sure, it is the conveyance that should be acknowledged as a free and voluntary act. In any event, the donee signed on the second page, which contains the Acknowledgment only. Her acceptance, which is explicitly set forth on the first page of the notarized deed of donation, was made in a public instrument. Petition is granted. The appealed decision of the CA is reversed. Case title: Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila et. al vs. CA Topic: Donation; condition may be imposed by the donor to the donee but such condition must not be contra bonus mores (contrary to law, morals, public policy or public order) so as to unreasonably restrict his right to dispose or alienate the property as a right springing from ownership. Facts: On August 23, 1930, Spouses Eusebio de Castro and Martina Rieta (donor), now both deceased, executed a deed of donation in favor of therein defendant Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila (donee) covering a parcel of land with an area of 964 square meters, more or less.
On or about June 30, 1980, and while still within the prohibitive period to dispose of the property, petitioner Roman Catholic Bishop of Imus, in whose administration all properties within the province of Cavite owned by the Archdiocese of Manila was allegedly transferred on April 26, 1962, executed a deed of absolute sale of the property subject of the donation in favor of petitioners Florencio and Soledad C. Ignao. Private respondents on Nov 1984 as plaintiffs, filed a complaint for nullification of deed of donation, rescission of contract and reconveyance of real property with damages against petitioners Florencio and Soledad C. Ignao and church ( defendants therein). Trial court issued an order dismissing the complaint on the ground that the cause of action has prescribed. The case was elevated to CA. CA holding that the action has not yet prescribed, rendered a decision in favor of private respondents (plaintiff therein). Petitioners contended that the cause of action of herein private respondents has already prescribed, invoking Article 764 of the Civil Code which provides that "(t)he donation shall be revoked at the instance of the donor, when the donee fails to comply with any of the conditions which the former imposed upon the latter," and that "(t)his action shall prescribe after four years from the non-compliance with the condition, may be transmitted to the heirs of the donor, and may be exercised against the donee's heirs." Thus should have raised the action between Jan 1980- Jan 1984. On Nov. 1984, it has prescribed. Issues: 1.WON judicial declaration is required as the revocatory act of the donation in this case 2.WON the cause of action of respondents has prescribed under Art. 765 3.WON respondents have a cause of action granting the cause of action has not prescribed Ruling: 1.No judicial declaration needed. Automatic revocation by virtue of the stipulation in the deed of donation 2. Action has not prescribed SC quoting CA’s decision: The deed of donation involved herein expressly provides for automatic reversion of the property donated in case of violation of the condition therein, hence a judicial declaration revoking the same is not necessary. "By the very express provision in the deed of donation itself that the violation of the condition thereof would render ipso facto null and void the deed of donation, WE are of the opinion that there would be no legal necessity anymore to have the donation judicially declared null and void for the reason that the very deed of donation itself declares it so. Phrase reading 'would render ipso facto null and void' would not appear in the deed of donation, if the intention was otherwise. The Court of Appeals committed no error in holding that the cause of action of herein private respondents has not yet prescribed since an action to enforce a written contract prescribes in ten (10) years ( 1980-1990, respondents filed
the case on 1984 Nov). Article 764 was intended to provide a judicial remedy in case of non-fulfillment or contravention of conditions specified in the deed of donation if and when the parties have not agreed on the automatic revocation of such donation upon the occurrence of the contingency contemplated therein. 3. The issue whether or not the action by respondents has prescribed is not really the case at bar. Private respondents have no cause of action from the beginning. Action filed by private respondents may not be dismissed by reason of prescription; the same should be dismissed on the ground that private respondents have no cause of action against petitioners. The cause of action of private respondents is based on the alleged breach by petitioners of the resolutory condition in the deed of donation that the property donated should not be sold within a period of one hundred (100) years from the date of execution of the deed of donation. Said condition, in our opinion, constitutes an undue restriction on the rights arising from ownership of petitioners and is, therefore, contrary to public policy. Donation, as a mode of acquiring ownership, results in an effective transfer of title over the property from the donor to the donee. Once a donation is accepted, the donee becomes the absolute owner of the property donated. Although the donor may impose certain conditions in the deed of donation, the same must not be contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order and public policy. The condition imposed in the deed of donation in the case before us constitutes a patently unreasonable and undue restriction on the right of the donee to dispose of the property donated, which right is an indispensable attribute of ownership. Such a prohibition against alienation, in order to be valid, must not be perpetual or for an unreasonable period of time. Certain provisions of the Civil Code illustrative of the aforesaid policy may be considered applicable by analogy. Under the third paragraph of Article 494, a donor or testator may prohibit partition for a period which shall not exceed twenty (20) years. Article 870, on its part, declares that the dispositions of the testator declaring all or part of the estate inalienable for more than twenty (20) years are void. That the prohibition in the deed of donation against the alienation of the property for an entire century, being an unreasonable emasculation and denial of an integral attribute of ownership, should be declared as an illegal or impossible condition within the contemplation of Article 727 of the Civil Code. Consequently, as specifically stated in said statutory provision, such condition shall be considered as not imposed. The net result is that, absent said proscription, the deed of sale supposedly constitutive of the cause of action for the nullification of the deed of donation is not in truth violative of the latter hence, for lack of cause of action, the case for private respondents must fail
Title: Eufemia Pajarillo, Claudio Suterio Jr. vs. IAC, Salud Suterio
Issue: Whether or not the deed of donation is valid?
G.R. No. 72908, August 11, 1989 Ruling: Topic: Perfection of Donation, Making and Acceptance of Donation Facts: First Generation: There were 3 siblings, Perfecta, Felipe, and Juana. Second Generation: The (respondent) and Claudio Sr.
Third Generation: The children of Claudio from spouse Pajarillo (petitioners) Perfecta (donor) here died but never left a will but left a desire to donate the land she owned to her niece Salud (donee). So the forced heirs herein, Felipe and Juana, carried out the desire of deceased Perfecta and donated the land to Salud. A deed of donation was made by the two through an execution of a public instrument (extra-judicial partition) on May 20, 1946 with a note of the acceptance of Salud BUT the actual acceptance was made by Salud in a separate public instrument only on June 20, 1946 with Pajarillo-Suterio as witness. No registration was made nor title transferred to Salud’s name but she immediately took possession. Because of the request of her mother, Juana, Salud transferred possession and enjoyment of the fruits of the land to her mother, Juana, who then occupied the land together with Claudio Sr. and his family. Claudio Sr. paid the realty taxes thereon. On May 25, 1965, Juana executed a deed of absolute sale conveying the land to Claudio Sr. for a declared consideration of P12,000 and after 2 years was able to obtain a TCT. Claudio Sr. died in 1961 and Juana died on 1963. The mother who did not even have the right to convey the property sold the property to the brother of the donee On June 30, 1965, Salud (joined by her husband) initiated a complaint for the reconveyance of the property on the ground that the deed of absolute sale in favor of Claudio Sr. was fictitious and its registration in his name is null and void. On April 17,1979, Judge Juan M. Montecillo of the Court of First Instance of Quezon rendered judgment upholding the donation to the plaintiff and annulling the deed of sale and the registration of the land in favor of Claudio Suterio, Sr. On appeal, the decision was affirmed in toto.
It is also pointed out that the donation is defective in form because of non-compliance with the requirements of the law regarding its acceptance. As it was executed in 1946, the applicable rule is Article 633 of the old Civil Code reading as follows: Art. 633. In order that a donation of real property be valid it must be made by public instrument in which the property donated must be specifically described and the amount of the charges to be assumed by the donee expressed. The acceptance may be made, in the deed of gift or in a separate public writing; but it shall produce no effect if not made during the lifetime of the donor. If the acceptance is made, by separate public instrument, authentic notice thereof shall be given the donor, and this proceeding shall be noted in both instruments. There is no question that the donation was accepted in a separate public instrument and that it was duly communicated to the donors. Even the petitioners cannot deny this. But what they do contend is that such acceptance was not "noted in both instruments," meaning the extrajudicial partition itself and the instrument of acceptance, as required by the Civil Code. There is nothing in either of the two instruments showing that "authentic notice" of the acceptance was made by Salud to Juana and Felipe. And while the first instrument contains the statement that "the donee does hereby accept this donation and does hereby express her gratitude for the kindness and liberality of the donor," the only signatories thereof were Felipe Balane and Juana Balane de Suterio. That was in fact the reason for the separate instrument of acceptance signed by Salud a month later. So basically, the donor was aware that the donee has accepted the donation. This was confirmed by the mother hence the reason of asking the donee not to register the property under her name during the lifetime of the donor The purpose of the formal requirement is to insure that the acceptance of the donation is duly communicated to the donor. In the case at bar, it is not even suggested that Juana was unaware of the acceptance for she in fact confirmed it later and requested that the donated land be not registered during her lifetime by Salud. Given this significant
evidence, the Court cannot in conscience declare the donation ineffective because there is no notation in the extrajudicial settlement of the donee's acceptance. That would be placing too much stress on mere form over substance. It would also disregard the clear reality of the acceptance of the donation as manifested in the separate instrument dated June 20,1946, and as later acknowledged by Juana. The donation became effective upon acceptance by Salud except that, in obedience to her mother's request, she chose not to register the land in the meantime and to allow her mother to enjoy its fruits. What was deferred was not its effectivity but only its enjoyment by Salud. Registration was not necessary to make the donation a binding commitment insofar as the donors and the donee were concerned. It is clear that Juana Balane de Suterio had no right to sell the subject land to Claudio because she was no longer its owner, having previously donated it to her daughter Salud. Juana herself was holding the land merely as a trustee of Salud, who had transferred possession to her mother at the old woman's request. The deed of sale was itself vitiated by bad faith as Claudio is presumed to have known of the previous donation to his sister Salud, whose acceptance of the donation was formally witnessed by his own wife, the herein principal petitioner. WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED, with costs against the petitioners. Topic: Donation Mortis Causa Maglasang vs. Heirs of Cabatingan June 5, 2002 GR 131953 Facts: On Feb. 1992, Conchita Cabatingan (donor) executed a “Deed of Conditional Donation Intervivos” in favor of her brother Nicolas Cabatingan (donee) over a house and lot in Liloan. She also executed 4 other donation in favor of Estela Maglasang, Nicolas and Merly Cabatingan. These deeds of donation contain similar provisions, to wit: "That for and in consideration of the love and affection of the DONOR for the DONEE, x x x the DONOR does hereby, by these presents, transfer, convey, by way of donation, unto the DONEE the above-described property, together with the buildings and all improvements existing thereon, to become effective upon the death of the DONOR; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, that in the event that the DONEE should die before the DONOR, the present donation shall be deemed automatically rescinded and of no further force and effect; x x x" (Emphasis Ours) On May 9, 1995, Conchita Cabatingan died. The heirs of Conchita filed in RTC Mandaue for the Annulment and/or declaration of Nullity of the deeds of donation and accounting alleging that through sinister
machinations and strategies taking advantage of Conchita’s fragile condition and that it was null and void for failing to comply with the Civil Code regarding formalities of the wills and testament considering that the donation was mortis causa. Petitioners contends that it was inter vivos because it was made in consideration of the love and affection not in consideration of death and that the recission provided therein is a resolutory condition confirming that it is inter vivos. RTC found for the respondents and declared the donation as mortis causa and null and void for failing to comply with Art 806 of the Civil Code. Petitioner filed a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 posing the question of law. Issue: WON the Donation was inter vivos or mortis causa. Ruling: The instrument was a donation mortis causa. In a donation mortis causa, "the right of disposition is not transferred to the donee while the donor is still alive." In determining whether a donation is one of mortis causa, the following characteristics must be taken into account: (1) It conveys no title or ownership to the transferee before the death of the transferor; or what amounts to the same thing, that the transferor should retain the ownership (full or naked) and control of the property while alive; (2) That before his death, the transfer should be revocable by the transferor at will, ad nutum; but revocability may be provided for indirectly by means of a reserved power in the donor to dispose of the properties conveyed; and (3) That the transfer should be void if the transferor should survive the transferee. In the present case, the nature of the donations as mortis causa is confirmed by the fact that the donations do not contain any clear provision that intends to pass proprietary rights to petitioners prior to Cabatingan’s death. The phrase "to become effective upon the death of the DONOR" admits of no other interpretation but that Cabatingan did not intend to transfer the ownership of the properties to petitioners during her lifetime. Petitioners themselves expressly confirmed the donations as mortis causa in the following Acceptance and Attestation clauses, uniformly found in the subject deeds of donation, to wit: "That the DONEE does hereby accept the foregoing donation mortis causa under the terms and conditions set forth therein, and avail herself of this occasion to express her profound gratitude for the kindness and generosity of the DONOR."
xxx "SIGNED by the above-named DONOR and DONEE at the foot of this Deed of Donation mortis causa, which consists of two (2) pages x x x." That the donations were made "in consideration of the love and affection of the donor" does not qualify the donations as inter vivos because transfers mortis causa may also be made for the same reason.  The herein subject deeds expressly provide that the donation shall be rescinded in case petitioners predecease Conchita Cabatingan. As stated in Reyes v. Mosqueda, one of the decisive characteristics of a donation mortis causa is that the transfer should be considered void if the donor should survive the donee. This is exactly what Cabatingan provided for in her donations. If she really intended that the donation should take effect during her lifetime and that the ownership of the properties donated be transferrred to the donee or independently of, and not by reason of her death, she would have not expressed such proviso in the subject deeds. Considering that the disputed donations are donations mortis causa, the same partake of the nature of testamentary provisions and as such, said deeds must be executed in accordance with the requisites on solemnities of wills and testaments under Articles 805 and 806 of the Civil Code, to wit: "ART. 805. Every will, other than a holographic will, must be subscribed at the end thereof by the testator himself or by the testator’s name written by some other person in his presence, and by his express direction, and attested and subscribed by three or more credible witnesses in the presence of the testator and of one another. The testator or the person requested by him to write his name and the instrumental witnesses of the will, shall also sign, as aforesaid, each and every page thereof, except the last, on the left margin, and all the pages shall be numbered correlatively in letters placed on the upper part of each page. The attestation shall state the number of pages used upon which the will is written , and the fact that the testator signed the will and every page thereof, or caused some other person to write his name, under his express direction, in the presence of the instrumental witnesses, and that the latter witnessed and signed the will and all the pages thereof in the presence of the testator and of one another. If the attestation clause is in a language not known to the witnesses, it shall be interpreted to them. (n) ART. 806. Every will must be acknowledged before a notary public by the testator and the witnesses. The notary public
shall not be required to retain a copy of the will, or file another with the office of the Clerk of Court. (n)" The deeds in question although acknowledged before a notary public of the donor and the donee, the documents were not executed in the manner provided for under the above-quoted provisions of law. WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DENIED for lack of merit. SO ORDERED.
EVELYN DE LUNA, et., a l., petitioners, vs. HON. SOFRONIO F. ABRIGO, Presiding Judge of the Court of First Instance of Quezon, Branch IX, and LUZONIAN UNIVERSITY FOUNDATION, INC., respondents. G.R. No. 57455. January 18, 1990 Topic: Revocation and Reduction of Donation Facts of the Case: On January 24, 1965, Prudencio de Luna (donor) donated a portion of 7,500 square meters of Lot No. 3707 of the Cadastral Survey of Lucena covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. 1-5775 to the Luzonian Colleges, Inc.,(donee) (now Luzonian University Foundation, Inc., herein referred to as the foundation). The donation, embodied in a Deed of Donation Intervivos was subject to certain terms and conditions and provided for the automatic reversion to the donor of the donated property in case of violation or noncompliance. The foundation failed to comply with the conditions of the donation. On April 9, 1971, Prudencio de Luna "revived" the said donation in favor of the foundation, in a document entitled "Revival of Donation Intervivos subject to terms and conditions. The donation was registered and annotated on April 15, 1971 in the memorandum of encumbrances as Entry No. 17939 of Transfer Certificate of Title No. T-5775. On August 3, 1971, Prudencio de Luna and the foundation executed a "Deed of Segregation" whereby the area donated which is now known as Lot No. 3707-B of Subdivision Plan Psd-40392 was adjudicated to the foundation. As a result, transfer certificate of title No. T-16152 was issued in the name of the foundation. The remaining portion known as Lot No. 3707-A was retained by the donor. On September 23, 1980, herein petitioners, who claim to be the children and only heirs of the late Prudencio de Luna who died on August 18, 1980, filed a complaint with the Regional Trial Court of Quezon alleging that the terms and conditions of the donation were not complied with by the foundation. Among others, it prayed for the cancellation of the donation and the reversion of the donated land to the heirs. The complaint was docketed as Civil Case No. 8624. Respondent foundation claimed that it had partially and substantially complied with the conditions of the donation and that the donor has granted the foundation an indefinite extension of time to complete the construction of the chapel.
It also invoked the affirmative defense of prescription of action and prayed for the dismissal of the complaint. The trial Court finds the motion to dismiss deemed filed by the defendant on the ground of prescription to be well-taken and the same is hereby GRANTED. Issue of the Case: THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN TREATING THE COMPLAINT AS ONE FOR JUDICIAL DECREE OF REVOCATION OF THE DONATION IN QUESTION AS CONTEMPLATED IN ARTICLE 764 OF THE CIVIL CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES AND WHICH PRESCRIBES IN FOUR (4) YEARS AND IN NOT CONSIDERING IT AS AN ACTION TO ENFORCE A WRITTEN CONTRACT WHICH PRESCRIBES IN TEN (10) YEARS AS PROVIDED IN ARTICLE 1144, HENCE, THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN DISMISSING THE COMPLAINT. Ruling: Donations may be 1) simple, 2) remuneratory or 3) onerous. A simple donation is one the cause of which is pure liberality (no strings attached). A remuneratory donation is one where the donee gives something to reward past or future services or because of future charges or burdens, when the value of said services, burdens or charges is less than the value of the donation. An onerous donation is one which is subject to burdens, charges or future services equal (or more) in value than that of the thing donated (Edgardo L. Paras, Civil Code of the Philippines Annotated, 11 ed., 726). It is the finding of the trial court, which is not disputed by the parties, that the donation subject of this case is one with an onerous cause. It was made subject to the burden requiring the donee to construct a chapel, a nursery and a kindergarten school in the donated property within five years from execution of the deed of donation. New Civil Code as provided in Article 733 thereof which provides: "Article 733. Donations with an onerous cause shall be governed by the rules on contracts, and remuneratory donations by the provisions of the present Title as regards that portion which exceeds the value of the burden imposed." It is true that Article 764 of the New Civil Code, actions for the revocation of a donation must be brought within for (4) years from the non-compliance of the conditions of the donation. However, it is Our opinion that the said article does not apply to onerous donations in view of the specific provision of Article 733 providing that onerous donations are governed by the rules on contracts. In the light of the above, the rules on contracts and the general rules on prescription and not the rules on donations are applicable in the case at bar. rule on simple donation, prescription- 4 years rule on onerous donation, prescription-based on the contract. Since contract says automatic reversion, then no need for other docs. Also, if none is stipulated, the general rule on prescription enforcement of a written contract- must be within 10 years from execution. Under Article 1306 of the New Civil Code, the parties to a contract have the right "to establish such stipulations,
clauses, terms and conditions as they may deemed convenient, provided they are not contrary to law, morals, good customs, public orders or public policy." Paragraph 11 of the "Revival of Donation Intervivos, has provided that" violation of any of the conditions (herein) shall cause the automatic reversion of the donated area to the donor, his heirs, . . . , without the need of executing any other document for that purpose and without obligation on the part of the DONOR". Said stipulation not being contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order or public policy, is valid and binding upon the foundation who voluntarily consented thereto. The validity of the stipulation in the contract providing for the automatic reversion of the donated property to the donor upon non-compliance cannot be doubted. It is in the nature of an agreement granting a party the right to rescind a contract unilaterally in case of breach, without need of going to court. Upon the happening of the resolutory condition of non-compliance with the conditions of the contract, the donation is automatically revoked without need of a judicial declaration to that effect The trial court was therefore not correct in holding that the complaint in the case at bar is barred by prescription under Article 764 of the New Civil Code because Article 764 does not apply to onerous donations. As provided in the donation executed on April 9, 1971, compliance with the terms and conditions of the contract of donation, shall be made within five (5) years from its execution. The complaint which was filed on September 23, 1980 was then well within the ten (10) year prescriptive period to enforce a written contract (Article 1144, New Civil Code), counted from April 9, 1976. ELOY IMPERIAL, petitioner vs. COURT OF APPEALS G.R. No. 11248 Topic:Prescriptive period to revoke donations Leoncio Imperial was the registered owner of a 32,837-square meter parcel of land. On July 7, 1951, Leoncio sold the said lot for P1.00 to his acknowledged natural son, petitioner herein, who then acquired title over the land and proceeded to subdivide it into several lots. Petitioner and private respondents admit that despite the contract's designation as one of "Absolute Sale", the transaction was in fact a donation. On July 28, 1953, Leoncio filed a complaint for annulment of the said Deed of Absolute Sale, on the ground that he was deceived by petitioner herein into signing the said document. The dispute, however, was resolved through a compromise agreement, under which terms: (1) Leoncio recognized the legality and validity of the rights of petitioner to the land donated; and (2) petitioner agreed to sell a designated 1,000square meter portion of the donated land, and to deposit the proceeds thereof in a bank, for the convenient disposal of Leoncio. In case of Leoncio's death, it was agreed that the balance of the deposit will be withdrawn by petitioner to defray burial costs. On January 8, 1962, and pending execution of the above judgment, Leoncio died, leaving only two heirs --- the herein petitioner, who is his acknowledged natural son, and an
adopted son, Victor Imperial. On March 8, 1962, Victor was substituted in place of Leoncio in the above-mentioned case, and it was he who moved for execution of judgment. On March 15, 1962, the motion for execution was duly granted. Fifteen years thereafter, Victor died single and without issue, survived only by his natural father, Ricardo Villalon. Four years hence, or on September 25, 1981, Ricardo died, leaving as his only heirs his two children, Cesar and Teresa Villalon. Five years thereafter, Cesar and Teresa filed a complaint for annulment of the donation with the Regional Trial Court of Legazpi City, docketed as Civil Case No. 7646. Petitioner moved to dismiss on the ground of res judicata, by virtue of the compromise judgment rendered by the Court of First Instance of Albay. The trial court granted the motion to dismiss, but the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court's order and remanded the case for further proceedings. On October 18, 1989, Cesar and Teresa filed an amended complaint in the same case, Civil Case No. 7646, for "Annulment of Documents, Reconveyance and Recovery of Possession" with the RTC, seeking the nullification of the Deed of Absolute Sale affecting the above property, on grounds of fraud, deceit and inofficiousness. In the amended complaint, it was alleged that petitioner caused Leoncio to execute the donation by taking undue advantage of the latter's physical weakness and mental unfitness, and that the conveyance of said property in favor of petitioner impaired the legitime of Victor Imperial, their natural brother and predecessor-in-interest. The RTC held the donation to be inofficious and impairing the legitime of Victor. The Court of Appeals affirmed the RTC Decision in toto. Issue: WON private respondents' action is barred by prescription, laches and estoppel What, then, is the prescriptive period for an action for reduction of an inofficious donation? The Civil Code specifies the following instances of reduction or revocation of donations: (1) four years, in cases of subsequent birth, appearance, recognition or adoption of a child;16 [Civil Code, Art. 763.] (2) four years, for non-compliance with conditions of the donation;17 [Id., Art. 764.] and (3) at any time during the lifetime of the donor and his relatives entitled to support, for failure of the donor to reserve property for his or their support.18 [Id., Art. 750.] Interestingly, donations as in the instant case,19 [Governed by Articles 752 and 771 of the Civil Code, which read thus:Art. 752. xxx (N)o person may give or receive, by way of donation, more than what he may give or receive by will. The donation shall be inofficious in all that it may exceed this limitation. Art.771. Donations which in accordance with the provisions of Article 752, are inofficious bearing in mind the estimated net value of the donor's property at the time of his death, shall be reduced with regard to the excess, but this reduction shall not prevent the donations from taking effect during the life of the donor, nor shall it bar the donee from appropriating the fruits. xxx] the reduction of which hinges upon the allegation of impairment of legitime, are not controlled by a particular prescriptive period, for which reason we must resort to the ordinary rules of prescription.
Under Article 1144 of the Civil Code, actions upon an obligation created by law must be brought within ten years from the time the right of action accrues. Thus, the ten-year prescriptive period applies to the obligation to reduce inofficious donations, required under Article 771 of the Civil Code, to the extent that they impair the legitime of compulsory heirs. From when shall the ten-year period be reckoned? The case of Mateo vs. Lagua, 29 SCRA 864, which involved the reduction for inofficiousness of a donation propter nuptias, recognized that the cause of action to enforce a legitime accrues upon the death of the donor-decedent. Clearly so, since it is only then that the net estate may be ascertained and on which basis, the legitimes may be determined. It took private respondents 24 years since the death of Leoncio to initiate this case. The action, therefore, has long prescribed. Private respondents are also guilty of estoppel by laches. It may be recalled that Leoncio died on January 8, 1962. Fifteen years later, Victor died, leaving as his sole heir Ricardo Villalon, who also died four years later. While Victor was alive, he gave no indication of any interest to contest the donation of his deceased father. As we have discussed earlier, the fact that he actively participated in Civil Case No. 1177 did not amount to a renunciation of his inheritance and does not preclude him from bringing an action to claim his legitime. These are matters that Victor could not possibly be unaware of, considering that he is a lawyer.21 Ricardo Villalon was even a lessee of a portion of the donated property, and could have instituted the action as sole heir of his natural son, or at the very least, raised the matter of legitime by way of counterclaim in an ejectment case filed against him by petitioner in 1979. Neither does it help private respondents' cause that five years have elapsed since the death of Ricardo in 1981 before they filed their complaint with the RTC. Digested by: Gayle Opsima Subject: Property Title: SOLEDAD CALICDAN, represented by her guardian GUADALUPE CASTILLO, petitioner vs. SILVERiO CENDAÑA, substituted by his legal heir CELSA CENDAÑAALARAS, respondent G.R. No. 155080
February 5, 2004
Topic: Void donation as basis for title by acquisitive prescription Facts: The instant controversy involves a 760 square meter parcel of unregistered land formerly owned by Sixto Calicdan, who died intestate. He was survived by his wife, Fermina, and three children, namely, petitioner Soledad, Jose and Benigno.
On August 25, 1947, Fermina executed a deed of donation inter vivos whereby she conveyed the land to respondent Silverio Cendaña, who immediately entered into possession of the land, built a fence around the land and constructed a two-storey residential house thereon sometime in 1949, where he resided until his death in 1998. On June 29, 1992, petitioner, through her legal guardian Guadalupe Castillo, filed a complaint for "Recovery of Ownership, Possession and Damages" against the respondent, alleging that the donation was void; that respondent took advantage of her incompetence in acquiring the land. The trial court rendered a decision in favor of petitioner but was reversed by the CA. Issue: Whether or not petitioner lost ownership of the land by prescription Ruling: The factual findings of the trial court and the Court of Appeals are conflicting; thus, we are constrained to review the findings of facts. After a review of the evidence on record, we find that the Court of Appeals’ ruling that the donation was valid was not supported by convincing proof. The donation of the land is void because Fermina was not the owner thereof, considering that it was inherited by Sixto from his parents. Thus, the land was not part of the conjugal property of the spouses Sixto and Fermina Calicdan, because under the Spanish Civil Code, the law applicable when Sixto died in 1941, the surviving spouse had a right of usufruct only over the estate of the deceased spouse. Consequently, respondent, who derived his rights from Fermina, only acquired the right of usufruct as it was the only right which the latter could convey. Notwithstanding the invalidity of the donation, we find that respondent has become the rightful owner of the land by extraordinary acquisitive prescription. Prescription is another mode of acquiring ownership and other real rights over immovable property. It is concerned with lapse of time in the manner and under conditions laid down by law, namely, that the possession should be in the concept of an owner, public, peaceful, uninterrupted and adverse. The records show that the subject land is an unregistered land. When the petitioner filed the instant case on June 29, 1992, respondent was in possession of the land for 45 years counted from the time of the donation in 1947. This is more
than the required 30 years of uninterrupted adverse possession without just title and good faith. Such possession was public, adverse and in the concept of an owner. Moreover, the deed of donation inter vivos, albeit void for having been executed by one who was not the owner of the property donated, may still be used to show the exclusive and adverse character of respondent’s possession. Thus, in Heirs 19 of Segunda Maningding v. Court of Appeals, we held: Even assuming that the donation propter nuptias is void for failure to comply with formal requisites, it could still constitute a legal basis for adverse possession. With clear and convincing evidence of possession, a private document of donation may serve as basis for a claim of ownership. In Pensader v. Pensader we ruled that while the verbal donation under which the defendant and his predecessors-ininterest have been in possession of the lands in question is not effective as a transfer of title, still it is a circumstance which may explain the adverse and exclusive character of the possession. (Underscoring ours) In sum, the Court of Appeals correctly ordered the dismissal of the case, and declared respondent the rightful owner of the subject property, not on the basis of the Deed of Donation Inter Vivos, which is hereby declared void, but on extraordinary acquisitive prescription. WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the petition is DENIED. CASE TITLE: Concepcion vs. Concepcion G.R. No.: L-4225
August 25, 1952
TOPIC: Inter Vivos or Mortis Causa FACTS After the execution of a deed of donation on November 18, 1947, the donor Manuela Concepcion died. Plaintiffsappellees who are 6 nephews and nieces of the donor instituted special proceedings in the CFI of Zambales for the summary settlement of the estate of their aunt. Because the estate or the greater portion thereof sought to be summarily settled and distributed was included in the donation, the donee Emilia Concepcion filed opposition to the petition claiming that the 6 parcels subject of the donation belonged to her. The Court in said special proceedings without deciding the title and right of possession to the 6 parcels claimed by Emilia, merely ordered the partition of the estate of Manuela Concepcion among all her heirs who are besides the 6 petitioners, Emilia Concepcion and her 4 brothers. Because Emilia refused to give up the parcels said to have been donated to her, the 6 original petitioners in the special proceedings filed the present action in the CFI of Zambales to have themselves declared owners of and entitled to the
possession of their shares in those properties claimed by Emilia in the proportion of one-eleventh (1/11) for each. After trial, the lower court found that the donation was one mortis causa and because it was not executed in the manner required by law on wills, it was declared null and void; the properties therein included were all declared part if the estate of the deceased Manuela Concepcion subject to distribution among the heirs in the proportion of 1/11 for each as declared by the court in the special proceedings. Emilia Concepcion appealed the decision to the CA, but finding that only questions of law were involved in the appeal, said court by resolution certified the case to this Court. ISSUE:
acceptance is embodied in the deed of donation, and both donor and donee signed below said acceptance conclusively showing that the donor was aware of said acceptance. The deed and acceptance was by agreement of both recorded or registered. Everything was complete. Only donations inter vivos need be accepted. Donation mortis causa being in the nature of a legacy need not be accepted. Presuming that the donor Manuela and the donee Emilia knew the law, the fact that they not only be agreed to the acceptance but regarded said acceptance necessary argues for their understanding and intention that the donation was inter vivos. In view of the foregoing, we find that the donation in question is inter vivos and not mortis causa, and that it is valid because the requisites of the law about the execution of wills do not apply to it. The decision appealed from is hereby reversed with costs.
Whether the deed of donation is inter vivos or mortis causa. (because if the former, it is valid having been duly accepted by the donee, but if the latter it would be void because being in the nature of disposal of property by will, according to the article 620 of the Civil Code, it shall be governed by the rules established for testamentary succession) HELD: Here, the donation is entitled and called donacion onerosa mortis causa. From the body, however, we find that the donation was of a nature remunerative rather that onerous. The donation instead of being onerous or for a valuable consideration, as in payment of a legal obligation was more of remuneratory or compensatoruy nature, besides being partly motivated by affection. In the case of De Guzman et al. vs. Ibea, et al. (67 Phil., 633), this Court through said that if a donation by its terms is inter vivos, this character is not altered by the fact that the donor styles it mortis causa. It is clear that even when the donor calls the donation mortis causa instead of inter vivos, even if he says it is to take effect after his death, when from the body of the instrument or donation is to be gathered that the main consideration of the donation is not the death of the donor but rather services rendered to him, by the donee or his affection for the latter, then the donation should be considered as inter vivos, and when duly accepted, it transfers title immediately to the donee, and the condition that the donation is to take effect only after the death of donor should be interpreted as meaning that the possession and enjoyment of the fruits of the property donated should take place only after donor's death One other consideration may be mentioned in support of our stand. The donation here was accepted by Emilia; said
Austria-Magat vs. CA Facts: In 1953, Basilisa bought a parcel of residential land together with the improvement thereon. On December 17, 1975, Basilisa executed a document designated as “Kasulatan sa Kaloobpala (Donation)” over said parcel in favor her children. Later, Basilisa and her said children likewise executed another notarized document denominated as “Kasulatan” which is attached to the deed of donation where it was stated that the same parcel will still be in the possession of their mother in her lifetime and be free from any encumbrance. On February 6, 1979, Basilisa executed a Deed of Absolute Sale of the subject house and lot in favor of herein petitioner Apolinaria Austria-Magat for P5,000. As the result of the registration of said sale, TCT No. RT-4036 in the name of the donor was cancelled and in lieu thereof TCT No. T10434 was issued by the RD of Cavite City in favor of petitioner on February 8, 1979. On September 21, 1983, herein respondents Teodora Carampot, Domingo Comia, and Ernesto Apolo (representing their deceased mother Consolacion Austria), Ricardo, Mamerto and Segunda, all surnamed Sumpelo (representing their deceased mother Rosario Austria) and Florentino Lumubos filed before the RTC of Cavite an action against the petitioner for annulment of TCT No. T-10434 and other relevant documents, and for reconveyance and damages. However, it was dismissed. According to the trial court, the donation is a donation mortis causa pursuant to Article 728 of the New Civil Code inasmuch as the same expressly provides that it would take effect upon the death of the donor; that the provision stating that the donor reserved the right to revoke the donation is a feature of a donation mortis causa which must comply with the formalities of a will; and that inasmuch as the donation did not follow the formalities pertaining to wills, the same is void and produced no effect whatsoever. Hence, the sale by the donor of the said
property was valid since she remained to be the absolute owner thereof during the time of the said transaction. On appeal, the decision of the trial court was reversed by the Court of Appeals in its subject decision declared null and void the Deed of Sale of Registered Land and TCT No. T10434 of and ordering the cancellation thereof; and also declared that appellants and appellee are co-owners of the house and lot in question in accordance with the deed of donation executed by Basilisa Comerciante on December 17, 1975. The appellate court ruled that the deed is a donation inter vivos based on the provision of the same which expresses the irrevocability of the conveyance. The irrevocability of the donation is a characteristic of a donation inter vivos. By the words “hindi mababawi”, the donor expressly renounced the right to freely dispose of the house and lot in question. The right to dispose of a property is a right essential to full ownership. Hence, ownership of the house and lot was already with the donees even during the donor’s lifetime. Also, the attached document to the deed of donation, a stipulation is present which is a mere reiteration of the irrevocability of the dispossession on the part of the donor. On the other hand, the prohibition to encumber, alienate or sell the property during the lifetime of the donor is recognition of the ownership over the house and lot in issue of the donees for only in the concept of an owner can one encumber or dispose a property. Issue(s): 1. Whether or not it was a donation inter vivos. 2. Whether the action has prescribed under the Statute of Limitations. Ruling: It has been held that whether the donation is inter vivos or mortis causa depends on whether the donor intended to transfer ownership over the properties upon the execution of the deed. Significant to the resolution of this issue is the irrevocable character of the donation in the case at bar. In Cuevas v. Cuevas, the Court ruled that when the deed of donation provides that the donor will not dispose or take away the property donated (thus making the donation irrevocable), he in effect is making a donation inter vivos. He parts away with his naked title but maintains beneficial ownership while he lives. It remains to be a donation inter vivos despite an express provision that the donor continues to be in possession and enjoyment of the donated property while he is alive. Construing together the provisions of the deed of donation, the Court finds and so hold that in the case at bar the donation is inter vivos. The express irrevocability of the same (“hindi na mababawi”) is the distinctive standard that identifies that document as a donation inter vivos. The other provisions therein which seemingly make the donation mortis causa do not go against the irrevocable character of the subject donation. The provisions which state that the same will only take effect upon the death of the donor and that there is a prohibition to alienate, encumber, dispose, or sell the same, are only necessary assurances that during the
donor’s lifetime, the latter would still enjoy the right of possession over the property; but, his naked title of ownership has been passed on to the donees; and that upon the donor’s death, the donees would get all the rights of ownership over the same including the right to use and possess the same; and not necessarily proofs that the donation is mortis causa. The provision in the deed of donation that the donated property will remain in the possession of the donor just goes to show that the donor has given up his naked title of ownership thereto and has maintained only the right to use (jus utendi) and possess (jus possidendi) the subject donated property. Also, the prohibition on the donor to alienate the said property during her lifetime is proof that naked ownership over the property has been transferred to the donees. It also supports the irrevocable nature of the donation considering that the donor has already divested herself of the right to dispose of the donated property. On the other hand, the prohibition on the donees only meant that they may not mortgage or dispose the donated property while the donor enjoys and possesses the property during her lifetime. However, it is clear that the donees were already the owners of the subject property due to the irrevocable character of the donation. Another indication in the deed of donation that the donation is inter vivos is the acceptance clause therein of the donees. An acceptance clause is a mark that the donation is inter vivos and is also a requirement for donations inter vivos. On the other hand, donations mortis causa, being in the form of a will, are not required to be accepted by the donees during the donor’s lifetime. Also, the act of selling the subject property to the petitioner herein cannot be considered as a valid act of revocation of the deed of donation for the reason that a formal case to revoke the donation must be filed pursuant to Article 764 of the Civil Code which speaks of an action that has a prescriptive period of four (4) years from noncompliance with the condition stated in the deed of donation. The rule that there can be automatic revocation without benefit of a court action does not apply to the case at bar for the reason that the subject deed of donation is devoid of any provision providing for automatic revocation in event of non-compliance with the any of the conditions set forth therein. As regards the ground of estoppel, the donor, Basilisa, cannot invoke the violation of the provision on the prohibition to encumber the subject property as a basis to revoke the donation thereof inasmuch as she acknowledged the validity of the mortgage executed by the donee, Consolacion Austria, when the said donor asked respondent Domingo Comia to redeem the same. Thereafter, the donor, Basilisa likewise asked respondent Florentino Lumubos and the petitioner herein to redeem the same. Those acts implied that the donees have the right of control and naked title of ownership over the property considering that the donor, Basilisa condoned and acknowledged the validity of the mortgage executed by one of the donees, Consolacion Austria.
Anent the second issue, the petitioner asserts that the action, against the petitioner, for annulment of TCT No. T10434 and other relevant documents, for reconveyance and damages, filed by the respondents on September 21, 1983 on the ground of fraud and/or implied trust has already prescribed. The sale happened on February 6, 1979 and its registration was made on February 8, 1979 when TCT No. RT4036 in the name of the donor was cancelled and in lieu thereof TCT No. T-10434 in the name of the petitioner was issued. Thus, more than four (4) years have passed since the sale of the subject real estate property was registered and the said new title thereto was issued to the petitioner. The petitioner contends that an action for reconveyance of property on the ground of alleged fraud must be filed within four (4) years from the discovery of fraud which is from the date of registration of the deed of sale on February 8, 1979; and that the same prescriptive period also applies to a suit predicated on a trust relationship that is rooted on fraud of breach of trust. However, the four-year prescriptive period is not applicable to the case at bar for the reason that there is no fraud in this case. The findings of fact of the appellate court which are entitled to great respect, are devoid of any finding of fraud. The records do not show that the donor, Basilisa, and the petitioner ever intended to defraud the respondents herein with respect to the sale and ownership of the said property. On the other hand, the sale was grounded upon their honest but erroneous interpretation of the deed of donation that it is mortis causa, not inter vivos;and that the donor still had the rights to sell or dispose of the donated property and to revoke the donation. There being no fraud in the trust relationship between the donor and the donees including the herein petitioner, the action for reconveyance prescribes in ten (10) years. Considering that TCT No. T10434 in the name of the petitioner and covering the subject property was issued only on February 8, 1979, the filing of the complaint in the case at bar in 1983 was well within the tenyear prescriptive period. CA’s decision is affirmed.
signatures of Valenta and Natividad. Later on Gaudencio likewise sold his rights still to Salud evidenced by a notarized document. Sometime in 1987, petitioners instituted an action for compulsory judicial partition of real properties registered in the name of Agustin Dizon with the Regional Trial Court, Branch 18 of Malolos, Bulacan. The action was prompted by the refusal of herein respondent Natividad Dizon Tamayo to agree to the formal distribution of the properties of deceased Agustin Dizon among his heirs. Respondent claims that her father donated it to her sometime in 1936 with the conformity of the other heirs. She presented a private document of conformity which was allegedly signed and executed by her elder brother, Eduardo, in 1936. The subject property is also declared for taxation purposes under Tax Declaration No. 10376 in the name of respondent. Trial court noted that the alleged endowment which was made orally by the deceased Agustin Dizon to herein respondent partook of the nature of a donation which required the observance of certain formalities set by law. Nevertheless, the trial court rendered judgment in favor of respondent. Court of Appeals, in affirming the decision of the RTC, stated that notwithstanding the unexplained erasures and alterations, a cursory reading of the signed statement of Eduardo Dizon, which execution is undisputed, showed that there was an oral donation of the litigated land from Agustin Dizon to Natividad Dizon Tamayo in 1936. Issue: Whether or not the document is authentic inasmuch as it is marred by unexplained erasures and alterations? Ruling:
Subject: Property Title: Heirs of Salud Dizon Salamat vs. Tamayo G.R. No. 110644, October 30, 1998 Topic: Making and Acceptance of donation Facts: Agustin Dizon died intestate on May 15, 1942 leaving behind his five children Eduardo, Gaudencio, Salud (petitioner), Valenta and Natividad (respondent) as surviving heirs. Among the properties left by the decedent was a parcel of land in Barrio San Nicolas, Hagonoy, Bulacan, with an area of 2,188 square meters covered by Original Certificate of Title No. 10384. Eduardo sold his hereditary rights to his sister Salud evidenced by a private document bearing with
Art 749 of the Civil Code reads: In order that the donation of an immovable may be valid, it must be made in a public document, specifying therein the property donated and the value of the charges which the donee must satisfy. The acceptance may be made in the same deed of donation or in a separate public document, unless it is done during the lifetime of the donor. If the acceptance is made in a separate instrument, the donor shall be notified thereof in an authentic form and this step shall be noted in both instruments.
It is clear from Article 749 that a transfer of real property from one person to another cannot take effect as a donation unless embodied in a public document. The alleged donation in the case at bar was done orally and not executed in a public document. Moreover, the document which was presented by respondent in support of her claim that her father donated the subject parcel of land to her was a mere private document of conformity which was executed by her elder brother, Eduardo in 1956. It may not be amiss to point out that the brothers Eduardo and Gaudencio had already ceded their hereditary interests to petitioner Salud Dizon Salamat even before 1950. The document which was allegedly executed by Eduardo was marred by unexplained erasures and alterations. While the document was originally penned in black ink, the number thirty-six (36) in blue ink was superimposed on the number fifty-six (56) to make it appear that the document was executed in 1936 instead of in 1956. Moreover, a signature was blotted out with a black pentel pen and the 7 three other signatures of the alleged witnesses to the execution of the document at the lower portion of the document were dated June 1, 1951. This could only mean that the witnesses attested to the veracity of the document 5 years earlier, if the document was executed in 1956 or 15 years later, if we are to give credence to respondent's claim, that the document was executed in 1936. Curiously, two of the signatories, namely, Priscila D. Rivera and Maria D. Jocson signed the document as witnesses two days after the death of their father Gaudencio, who, as earlier mentioned, had already sold his hereditary rights to his sister Salud in 1949. Assuming that Agustin really made the donation to respondent, albeit orally, respondent cannot still claim ownership over the property. While it is true that a void donation may be the basis of ownership which may ripen into title by prescription, it is well settled that possession, to constitute the foundation of a prescriptive right, must be adverse and under a claim of title. Respondent was never in adverse and continous possession of the property. It is undeniable that petitioners and respondent, being heirs of the deceased, are co-owners of the properties left by the latter. A co-ownership is a form of a trust, with each owner being a trustee for each other and possession of a co-owner shall not be regarded as adverse to other co-owner but in fact is beneficial to them. Mere actual possession by one will not give rise to the inference that the possession was adverse because a co-owner is, after all, entitled to possession of the property. The elements in order that a co-owner's possession may be deemed adverse to the cestui que trust or the coowner are: (1) that he has performed unequivocal acts of repudiation amounting to ouster of the cestui que trust or other co-owners (2) that such positive acts or repudiation have been made known to the cestui que trust or other coowners and (3) that the evidence thereon must be clear and convincing.
Since respondent never made unequivocal acts of repudiation, she cannot acquire ownership over said property through acquisitive prescription. the fact that the subject property is declared for taxation purposes in the name of respondent who pays realty taxes thereon under Tax Declaration No. 14376 is of no moment. It is well settled that tax declarations or realty tax payments are not conclusive evidence of ownership. WHEREFORE, the decision of the Court of Appeals is hereby REVERSED.