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Bonsato v.

95 Phil. 481

Respondents complaint charged that on December, 1949, Domingo Bonsato, then already a
widower, had been induced and deceived into signing two notarial deeds of donations in favor of
his brother Juan Bonsato and of his nephew Felipe Bonsato, respectively, transferring to them
several parcels of land situated in the municipalities of Mabini and Burgos, Province of
Pangasinan, both donations having been duly accepted in the same act and documents.
Plaintiffs likewise charged that the donations were mortis causa and void for lack of the requisite
formalities. The defendants, Juan Bonsato and Felipe Bonsato, answered averring that the
donations made in their favor were voluntarily executed in consideration of past services
rendered by them to the late Domingo Bonsato; that the same were executed freely without the
use of force and violence, misrepresentation or intimidation; and prayed for the dismissal of the
case and for damages in the sum of P2,000.

After trial, the Court of First Instance rendered its decision on November 13, 1949, finding that
the deeds of donation were executed by the donor while the latter was of sound mind, without
pressure or intimidation; that the deeds were of donation inter vivos without any condition
making their validity or efficacy dependent upon the death of the donor; but as the properties
donated were presumptively conjugal, having been acquired during the coverture of Domingo
Bonsato and his wife Andrea Nacario, the donations were only valid as to an undivided one-half
share in the three parcels of land described therein.

W/N the late Domingo Bonsato made donations inter vivos or dispositions post mortem in favor
of the petitioners herein. -- DONATION INTER VIVOS.

If the donation is a dispositions post mortem in favor of the defendants, then the documents
should reveal any or all of the following characteristics:

(1) Convey 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 (Vidal vs. Posadas, 58 Phil., 108; Guzman vs. Ibea, 67 Phil.,

(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 (Bautista vs. Sabiniano, G. R. L-4326, November 18, 1952);

(3) That the transfer should be void if the transferor should survive the transferee.

None of these characteristics is discernible in the deeds of donation, executed by the late
Domingo Bonsato. The donor only reserved for himself, during his lifetime, the owner's share of
the fruits or produce a reservation that would be unnecessary if the ownership of the donated
property remained with the donor. Most significant is the absence of stipulation that the donor
could revoke the donations; on the contrary, the deeds expressly declare them to be
"irrevocable", a quality absolutely incompatible with the idea of conveyances mortis causa
where revocability is of the essence of the act, to the extent that a testator can not lawfully
waive or restrict his right of revocation.

It is true that the last paragraph in each donation contains the phrase "that after the death of the
donor the aforesaid donation shall become effective". However, said expression must be
construed together with the rest of the paragraph, and thus taken, its meaning clearly appears
to be that after the donor's death, the donation will take effect so as to make the donees the
absolute owners of the donated property, free from all liens and encumbrances; for it must be
remembered that the donor reserved for himself a share of the fruits of the land donated. Such
reservation constituted a charge or encumbrance that would disappear upon the donor's death,
when full title would become vested in the donees.

Puig v. Penaflorida
16 SCRA 136

DOCTRINE: The reservation by the donor of the right to dispose of the property during her
lifetime in the deed does not indicate that title had passed to the donee in her lifetime but that
the donor merely reserves power to destroy the donation at any time.

On April 10, 1953, Carmen Ubalde Vda. de Parcon died in the City of Iloilo, without forced heirs,
leaving certain properties in the City and province of Iloilo. She left a will and was survived by
nephews and nieces, children of her predeceased brother, Catalino Ubalde, and sister, Luisa
Ubalde, married to Ariston Magbanua.

It also appears that besides her will, the deceased had executed two notarial deeds of donation.
One, entitled Donacion Mortis Causa, was executed in favor of her niece, Estela Magbanua,
married to Mariano Peaflorida, purporting to convey to the donee the properties covered by
TCT Nos. 2338 and 18951 of the Registry of Deeds of Iloilo. Two, the deceased executed
another deed of donation, also entitled "Escritura de Donacion Mortis Causa" in favor of the
same donee, Estela Magbanua Peaflorida, conveying to her three parcels of land covered by
TCT Nos. 925, 927 and 11042 of the Register of Deeds of Iloilo .

There was a condition in the instrument saying that if at the date of her death the donor had not
transferred, sold, or conveyed one-half of lot 58 of the Pototan Cadastre to other persons or
entities, the donee would be bound to pay to Caridad Ubalde, married to Tomas Pedrola, the
amount of P600.00, and such payment was to be made on the date the donee took possession
of Lot No. 58.

Are the two donations inter vivos or mortis causa? (It being admitted that in the latter event the
donations are void for not being executed with testamentary formalities.)

The Court held that the first donation is a valid donation inter vivos while the second one is a
donation mortis causa.

An essential characteristic of dispositions mortis causa is that the conveyance or alienation
should be (expressly or by necessary implication) revocable ad nutum, i.e., at the discretion of
the grantor or so-called "donor," simply because the latter has changed his mind. In
consequence, the specification in a deed of the causes whereby the act may be revoked by the
donor indicates that the donation is inter vivos, rather than a disposition mortis causa

The Court further said that the designation of the donation as mortis causa, or a provision in the
deed to the effect that the donation is "to take effect at the death of the donor" are not
controlling criteria ; such statements are to be construed together with the rest of the instrument,
in order to give effect to the real intent of the transferor.

In case of doubt, the conveyance should be deemed donation inter vivos rather than mortis
causa, in order to avoid uncertainty as to the ownership of the property subject of the deed.

Tested by the foregoing principles, the donation of November 24, 1948, while somewhat
ambiguous, should be held inter vivos in character. Admittedly, it is designated as "mortis
causa," and specifies that it will take effect upon the death of the donor; but, as previously
stated, these expressions are not controlling, and, in the instance, before us, are contradicted
by other provisions indicating a contrary intent. Thus,

The conveyance of the properties described in the deed appears made in consideration
of the undertaking of the donee, Estela Magbanua, to bear "all expenses for medical
treatment, hospital expenses and/or burial of the Donor," without limiting the time when
such expenses are to be incurred. In fact, the use of the words "y/o entierro" (and/or
burial) strongly suggests that the illness and hospitalization expenditures to be borne by
the donee may or may not be connected with the donor's last illness.
Emphasizing the onerous character of the transaction is the requirement that if the
donee should predecease the donor, Governor Peaflorida shall assume the obligations
of the donee, "especialmente" (but not exclusively) "los gastos de ultima enfermedad y
entierro de la donante" (par. 4), and this undertaking was assumed even if the properties
donated would not go to Peaflorida but to the donee's children and descendants (par.
3). It was evidently because of this liability, unconnected with the conveyance, that
Peaflorida had to sign the document together with the donee. It is easy to see that
unless the conveyance were to be effective before the death of donor,, the obligations
assumed by the donee and Governor Peaflorida (her husband) would be without
consideration (causa). Such conditions (consent, subject matter, causa or consideration
and observance of the formalities or solemnities required by law) are all present in the
deed of November 24, 1948.
Again, while there is a clause that the donor reserved her right "to mortgage or even sell
the donated property, when and if she should need funds to meet her own needs," this
last sentence of the stipulation appears incompatible with the grantor's freedom to
revoke a true conveyance mortis causa, a faculty that is essentially absolute and
discretionary, whether its purpose should be to supply her needs or to make a profit, or
have no other reason than a change of volition on the part of the grantor-testator. If the
late Carmen Ubalde Vda. de Parcon wished or intended to retain the right to change the
destination of her property at her sole will and discretion, there was no reason for her to
specify the causes for which she could sell or encumber the property covered by her
It is no objection to our view that the donation of November 24, 1948 should provide that
it is not to be recorded until after the donor's death (par. 5), since the absence of
registration would affect only subsequent purchasers, without denying the validity and
obligatory effects of the conveyance as between the parties thereto.

As for the second deed of donation, the text thereof is clear that no proprietary right was
intended to pass to the alleged "donee" prior to the "donor's" death, and that the same was a
true conveyance mortis causa, which by law is invalid because it was not executed with the
testamentary formalities required by the statutes in force at the time. Here, unlike in the previous
donation the designation is donation mortis causa is confirmed by the fact that no signs
contradict or limit the unqualified and unrestricted right of the donor to alienate the conveyed
properties in favor of other persons of her choice at any time that she should wish to do so; it is
so expressed in the deed, and it indirectly recognizes the donor's power to nullify the
conveyance to the alleged "donee" whatever the "donor" wished to do so, for any reason or for
no particular reason at all. As we have seen, this faculty is characteristic of conveyances post
mortem or mortis causa: for the right of the transfer or to alienate the "donated" property to
someone else necessarily imports that the conveyance to the "donee" will not become final and
definite in favor of the latter until the death of the "donor" should exclude every possibility that
the property maybe alienated to some other person.

Puig v. Penaflorida
294 SCRA 183

DOCTRINE: The real nature of a deed is to be ascertained by both its language and the
intention of the parties as demonstrated by the circumstances attendant upon its execution.

On 11 December 1979, a deed entitled Deed of Donation Inter Vivos was executed by the late
Aurora Virto Vda. De Montinola (Montinola) in favor of her grandchildren, Catalino, Judy
Cristina and Jesus Antonio, all surnamed Valderrama (the Valderramas) over a property
located in Panay, Capiz covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. T-16105. The deed
contained signature of the Valderramas in acknowledgment of their acceptance of the donation.

Montinolas secretary, thereafter, presented the deed for recording in the Property Registry and
the Register of Deeds cancelled TCT No. T-16105, the title under Montinolas name, and
replaced it with TCT No. T-16622 in the name of the Valderramas. However, Montinola retained
TCT No. T-16622 as well as the property until she transferred the same ten years later, on 10
July 1990, to Spouses Ernesto and Evelyn Sicad (the Sicads).

On 12 March 1987, Montinola drew up a deed of revocation of the donation and caused it to be
annotated as an adverse claim to TCT No. T-16622.

On 24 August 1990, she then filed a petition with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Roxas City
for the cancellation of TCT No. T-16622 and the reinstatement of TCT No. T-16105. Her
petition was founded on the theory that the donation she executed was one of mortis causa
which had to comply with the formalities of a will and since it had not, the donation was void and
cannot be the basis for the cancellation of TCT No. T-16105 and the issuance of TCT No. T-

In an opposition dated 29 August 1990, the Valderramas argued that the donation was one inter
vivos which, having complied with the requirements set out in the Civil Code, was perfectly valid
and efficacious.

On 27 March 1991, the RTC rendered judgment holding that the donation was one inte rvivos
and dismissed Montinolas petition for lack of merit.

Montinola elevated the case to the Court of Appeals (CA). She however died on 10 March
1993 while the case was pending.

Thereafter, on 31 March 1993, a Manifestation and Motion was filed by the Sicads in which
they alleged that pursuant to a Deed of Definite Sale dated 25 May 1992, they had become
owners of the property covered by TCT No. T-16622.

On 30 June 1995, the CA affirmed the RTCs decision.

Hence, this petition to the Supreme Court (SC). The Sicads contended that lower courts erred
in their judgment in ruling the donation as one inter vivos because the circumstances
surrounding the execution of the deed of donation, and the subsequent actions of Montinola
incontrovertibly signify the latters intent to transfer the property only after her death (mortis
causa) and that Montinola did not intend to give effect to the donation.

Whether the donation is mortis causa or inter vivos

The donation is mortis causa.

The SC held that the real nature of a deed is to be ascertained by both its language and the
intention of the parties as demonstrated by the circumstances attendant upon its execution.

The SC found the following circumstances signifies that Montinola never intended the donation
to take effect within her lifetime: (a) she expressed her wish that the donation take effect 10
years after her death; (b) she intercalated a new provision which states that however, the
donees shall not sell or encumber the properties herein donated within 10 years after the death
of the donor.; (c) she continued, as explicitly authorized in the deed itself, to possess he
property, enjoy its fruits and otherwise exercise the rights of dominion, paying the property taxes
as they fell due. All these she did until she transferred the property to the Sicad Spouses on
July 10, 1990. The SC set aside the decisions of the lower courts.

Eduarte v. CA
253 SCRA 391

DOCTRINE: All crimes which offend the donor are considered manifests of ingratitude and are
cause for revocation of donation.

Pedro Calapine donates half a parcel of his land to his niece, Helen Doria. For this benevolent
act, he is blessed tenfold by greed and disloyalty. He willingly and knowingly gave only half of
said land. However, there materialized a donation from him supposedly as well giving the other
half to make whole said parcel. Moreover, these lands "donated" were made for profit and
ironically enough, spirituality. This is when the Eduartes Romulo and Sally fall prey also.
Furthermore, a certain Calauan Christian Reform Church (CCRC) enters the fray. The niece,
Helen, had the audacity to falsify said donation and donate yet again to attain false pretense of
forgiveness. This, by way of giving the land to a church except of course the residence. The
Eduartes, unknowingly trust Doria and purchase the lot altogether. Pedro then moves to
reprimand his niece by setting forth machinations to effectively revoke his donation.

W/N the act of Helen Doria of falsification of documents is tantamount to ingratitude towards
Pedro Calapine which would lead to the effective revocation of donation? -- YES

This act is of pure treason. Any action that the donor takes offense to is equal to ingratitude. It is
saddening that an individual can have such a shameful display of thanks relating to family. The
mere act of falsifying documents to reserve the right to half the land to which you have already
been granted half of is appaling to say the least.

WHEREFORE, the instant petition for review is DENIED. The assailed decision of the Court of
Appeals dated August 31, 1993, is AFFIRMED.
Costs against petitioners.

De Luna v. Abrigo
181 SCRA 150

De Luna donated a portion of a 75 sq. m. lot to the Luzonian University Foundation. The
donation was embodied in a Deed of Donation Intervivos and was subject to certain terms and
conditions. In case of violation or non-compliance, the property would automatically revert to the
donor. When the Foundation failed to comply with the conditions, de Luna revived the said
donation by executing a Revival of Donation Intervivos with the following terms and conditions:

1) The Donee shall construct on the land and at its expense a Chapel, Nursery, and
Kindergarten School to be named after St. Veronica
2) Construction shall start immediately and must be at least 70% completed three years from
the date of the Deed unless the Donor grants extensions
3) Automatic reversion in case of violation

The Foundation accepted and the donation was registered and annotated in the TCT. By a
Deed of Segregation, the foundation was issued a TCT for area the lot donated while the
remaining area was retained by the De Luna.

The children and only heirs of the late De Luna (died after the donation) filed a complaint with
the RTC for the cancellation of the donation on the ground that the terms were violated. The
Foundation defended itself by saying that it had partially and substantially complied with the
conditions and that the donor granted it an indefinite extension of time to complete construction.

The RTC dismissed the petition on the ground of prescription (for being filed after 4 years). The
heirs did not file an MR and went straight to the SC.

Whether the action prescribes in 4 years (based on art. 764 NCC-judicial decree of revocation
of the donation) or in 10 years (based on art. 1144 enforcement of a written contract)

10 years
The donation subject of this case is one with an onerous cause.

Under the old Civil Code, it is a settled rule that donations with an onerous cause are governed
not by the law on donations but by the rules on contract. On the matter of prescription of actions
for the revocation of onerous donation, it was held that the general rules on prescription apply.
The same rules apply under the New Civil Code as provided in Article 733 thereof which

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 under Article 764 of the New Civil Code, actions for the revocation of a donation
must be brought within four (4) years from the non-compliance of the conditions of the donation.
However, 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. The rules
on prescription and not the rules on donation applies in the case at bar.