SPS. AGRIPINO GESTOPA and ISABEL SILARIO GESTOPA, petitioners, vs.
COURT OF APPEALS and MERCEDES DANLAG y PILAPIL, respondents. This petition for review, under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, assails the decisionof the Court of Appeals dated August 31, 1993, in CA-G.R. CV No. 38266, which reversed the judgment of the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City, Branch 5. The facts, as culled from the records, are as follows: Spouses Diego and Catalina Danlag were the owners of six parcels of unregistered lands. They executed three deeds of donation mortis causa, two of which are dated March 4, 1965 and another dated October 13, 1966, in favor of private respondent Mercedes Danlag-Pilapil. The first deed pertained to parcels 1 & 2 with Tax Declaration Nos. 11345 and 11347, respectively. The second deed pertained to parcel 3, with TD No. 018613. The last deed pertained to parcel 4 with TD No. 016821. All deeds contained the reservation of the rights of the donors (1) to amend, cancel or revoke the donation during their lifetime, and (2) to sell, mortgage, or encumber the properties donated during the donors' lifetime, if deemed necessary. On January 16, 1973, Diego Danlag, with the consent of his wife, Catalina Danlag, executed a deed of donation inter vivos covering the aforementioned parcels of land plus two other parcels with TD Nos. 11351 and 11343, respectively, again in favor of private respondent Mercedes. This contained two conditions, that (1) the Danlag spouses shall continue to enjoy the fruits of the land during their lifetime, and that (2) the donee can not sell or dispose of the land during the lifetime of the said spouses, without their prior consent and approval. Mercedes caused the transfer of the parcels' tax declaration to her name and paid the taxes on them. On June 28, 1979 and August 21, 1979, Diego and Catalina Danlag sold parcels 3 and 4 to herein petitioners, Mr. and Mrs. Agripino Gestopa. On September 29, 1979, the Danlags executed a deed of revocationrecovering the six parcels of land subject of the aforecited deed of donation inter vivos. On March 1, 1983, Mercedes Pilapil (herein private respondent) filed with the RTC a petition against the Gestopas and the Danlags, for quieting of title over the above parcels of land. She alleged that she was an illegitimate daughter of Diego Danlag; that she lived and rendered incalculable beneficial services to Diego and his mother, Maura Danlag, when the latter was still alive. In recognition of the services she rendered, Diego executed a Deed of Donation on March 20, 1973, conveying to her the six (6) parcels of land. She accepted the donation in the same instrument, openly and publicly exercised rights of ownership over the donated properties, and caused the transfer of the tax declarations to her name. Through machination, intimidation and undue influence, Diego persuaded the husband of Mercedes, Eulalio Pilapil, to buy two of the six parcels covered by the deed of donation. Said donation inter vivos was coupled with conditions and, according to Mercedes, since its perfection, she had complied with all of them; that she had not been guilty of any act of ingratitude; and that respondent Diego had no legal basis in revoking the subject donation and then in selling the two parcels of land to the Gestopas. In their opposition, the Gestopas and the Danlags averred that the deed of donation dated January 16, 1973 was null and void because it was obtained by Mercedes through machinations and undue influence. Even assuming it was validly executed, the intention was for the donation to take effect upon the death of the donor. Further, the donation was void for it left the donor, Diego Danlag, without any property at all. On December 27, 1991, the trial court rendered its decision, thus: "WHEREFORE, the foregoing considered, the Court hereby renders judgment in favor of the defendants and against the plaintiff: 1. Declaring the Donations Mortis Causa and Inter Vivos as revoked, and, therefore, has (sic) no legal effect and force of law. 2. Declaring Diego Danlag the absolute and exclusive owner of the six (6) parcels of land mentioned in the Deed of revocation (Exh. P-plaintiff, Exh. 6-defendant Diego Danlag).
3. Declaring the Deeds of Sale executed by Diego Danlag in favor of spouses Agripino Gestopa and Isabel Gestopa dated June 28, 1979 (Exh. S-plaintiff; Exh. 18-defendant); Deed of Sale dated December 18, 1979 (Exh. T plaintiff; Exh. 9-defendant); Deed of Sale dated September 14, 1979 (Exh. 8); Deed of Sale dated June 30, 1975 (Exh. U); Deed of Sale dated March 13, 1978 (Exh. X) as valid and enforceable duly executed in accordance with the formalities required by law. 4. Ordering all tax declaration issued in the name of Mercedes Danlag Y Pilapil covering the parcel of land donated cancelled and further restoring all the tax declarations previously cancelled, except parcels nos. 1 and 5 described, in the Deed of Donation Inter Vivos (Exh. "1") and Deed of Sale (Exh. "2") executed by defendant in favor of plaintiff and her husband. [5.] With respect to the contract of sale of abovestated parcels of land, vendor Diego Danlag and spouse or their estate have the alternative remedies of demanding the balance of the agreed price with legal interest, or rescission of the contract of sale. SO ORDERED." In rendering the above decision, the trial court found that the reservation clause in all the deeds of donation indicated that Diego Danlag did not make any donation; that the purchase by Mercedes of the two parcels of land covered by the Deed of Donation Inter Vivos bolstered this conclusion; that Mercedes failed to rebut the allegations of ingratitude she committed against Diego Danlag; and that Mercedes committed fraud and machination in preparing all the deeds of donation without explaining to Diego Danlag their contents. Mercedes appealed to the Court of Appeals and argued that the trial court erred in (1) declaring the donation dated January 16, 1973 as mortis causa and that the same was already revoked on the ground of ingratitude; (2) finding that Mercedes purchased from Diego Danlag the two parcels of land already covered by the above donation and that she was only able to pay three thousand pesos, out of the total amount of twenty thousand pesos; (3) failing to declare that Mercedes was an acknowledged natural child of Diego Danlag. On August 31, 1993, the appellate court reversed the trial court. It ruled: "PREMISES CONSIDERED, the decision appealed from is REVERSED and a new judgment is hereby rendered as follows: 1. Declaring the deed of donation inter vivos dated January 16, 1973 as not having been revoked and consequently the same remains in full force and effect; 2. Declaring the Revocation of Donation dated June 4, 1979 to be null and void and therefore of no force and effect; 3. Declaring Mercedes Danlag Pilapil as the absolute and exclusive owner of the six (6) parcels of land specified in the above-cited deed of donation inter vivos; 4. Declaring the Deed of Sale executed by Diego Danlag in favor of spouses Agripino and Isabel Gestopa dated June 28, 1979 (Exhibits S and 18), Deed of Sale dated December 18, 1979 (Exhibits T and 19), Deed of Sale dated September 14, 1979 (Exhibit 8), Deed of Sale dated June 30, 1975 (Exhibit U), Deed of Sale dated March 13, 1978 (Exhibit X) as well as the Deed of Sale in favor of Eulalio Danlag dated December 27, 1978 (Exhibit 2) not to have been validly executed; 5. Declaring the above-mentioned deeds of sale to be null and void and therefore of no force and effect; 6. Ordering spouses Agripino Gestopa and Isabel Silerio Gestopa to reconvey within thirty (30) days from the finality of the instant judgment to Mercedes Danlag Pilapil the parcels of land above-specified, regarding which titles have been subsequently fraudulently secured, namely those covered by O.C.T. T-17836 and O.C.T. No. 17523. 7. Failing to do so, ordering the Branch Clerk of Court of the Regional Trial Court (Branch V) at Cebu City to effect such reconveyance of the parcels of land covered by O.C.T. T17836 and 17523. SO ORDERED."
The Court of Appeals held that the reservation by the donor of lifetime usufruct indicated that he transferred to Mercedes the ownership over the donated properties; that the right to sell belonged to the donee, and the donor's right referred to that of merely giving consent; that the donor changed his intention by donating inter vivos properties already donated mortis causa; that the transfer to Mercedes' name of the tax declarations pertaining to the donated properties implied that the donation was inter vivos; and that Mercedes did not purchase two of the six parcels of land donated to her. Hence, this instant petition for review filed by the Gestopa spouses, asserting that: "THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, TWELFTH DIVISION, HAS GRAVELY ERRED IN REVERSING THE DECISION OF THE COURT A QUO." Before us, petitioners allege that the appellate court overlooked the fact that the donor did not only reserve the right to enjoy the fruits of the properties, but also prohibited the donee from selling or disposing the land without the consent and approval of the Danlag spouses. This implied that the donor still had control and ownership over the donated properties. Hence, the donation was post mortem. Crucial in resolving whether the donation was inter vivos or mortis causa is the determination of whether the donor intended to transfer the ownership over the properties upon the execution of the deed. In ascertaining the intention of the donor, all of the deed's provisions must be read together. The deed of donation dated January 16, 1973, in favor of Mercedes contained the following: "That for and in consideration of the love and affection which the Donor inspires in the Donee and as an act of liberality and generosity, the Donor hereby gives, donates, transfer and conveys by way of donation unto the herein Donee, her heirs, assigns and successors, the above-described parcels of land; That it is the condition of this donation that the Donor shall continue to enjoy all the fruits of the land during his lifetime and that of his spouse and that the donee cannot sell or otherwise, dispose of the lands without the prior consent and approval by the Donor and her spouse during their lifetime. xxx That for the same purpose as hereinbefore stated, the Donor further states that he has reserved for himself sufficient properties in full ownership or in usufruct enough for his maintenance of a decent livelihood in consonance with his standing in society. That the Donee hereby accepts the donation and expresses her thanks and gratitude for the kindness and generosity of the Donor." Note first that the granting clause shows that Diego donated the properties out of love and affection for the donee. This is a mark of a donation inter vivos. Second, the reservation of lifetime usufruct indicates that the donor intended to transfer the naked ownership over the properties. As correctly posed by the Court of Appeals, what was the need for such reservation if the donor and his spouse remained the owners of the properties? Third, the donor reserved sufficient properties for his maintenance in accordance with his standing in society, indicating that the donor intended to part with the six parcels of land. Lastly, the donee accepted the donation. In the case of Alejandro vs. Geraldez, 78 SCRA 245 (1977), we said that an acceptance clause is a mark that the donation is inter vivos. Acceptance is a requirement for donations inter vivos. Donations mortis causa, being in the form of a will, are not required to be accepted by the donees during the donors' lifetime. Consequently, the Court of Appeals did not err in concluding that the right to dispose of the properties belonged to the donee. The donor's right to give consent was merely intended to protect his usufructuary interests. In Alejandro, we ruled that a limitation on the right to sell during the donors' lifetime implied that ownership had passed to the donees and donation was already effective during the donors' lifetime.
the Danlag spouses were aware of the difference between the two donations. However. she herself did not believe the donation was inter vivos.The attending circumstances in the execution of the subject donation also demonstrated the real intent of the donor to transfer the ownership over the subject properties upon its execution. The donor-spouses did not invoke any of these reasons in the deed of revocation. Petitioners assert that since private respondent purchased two of the six parcels of land from the donor. a finding of fact by the appellate court. it was private respondent's husband who purchased the two parcels of land. As aptly noted by the Court of Appeals. We find that petitioners did not overcome this presumption of regularity in the issuance of the tax declarations. once accepted. Petitioners' counter argument that this proposition was erroneous because six years after. the spouses changed their intention with the deed of revocation. where she merely asserted what she believed was her right under the law. this could hardly be considered an act covered by Article 765 of the Civil Code. Costs against petitioners. they would not again donate the four lots already donated mortis causa. Petitioners cannot use the deed of revocation to show the spouses' intent because its validity is one of the issues in this case. had no legal effect. If they did not intend to donate inter vivos. The assailed decision of the Court of Appeals dated August 31. our intention thereof is that of Mortis Causa so as we could be sure that in case of our death. especially when it is supported by evidence on record. it is reasonable to infer that the purchase was without private respondent's consent. there is a presumption of regularity in the performance of official duties. is not only disingenious but also fallacious. Even assuming that Mercedes prevented the donor from gathering coconuts. That the purchase is against her self-interest. unless proven otherwise. 1979. and that we are the one enjoying all the fruits thereof. SO ORDERED. Nor does this Article cover respondent's filing of the petition for quieting of title. WHEREFORE. is binding on us.
. however. the Danlag spouses already executed three donations mortis causa. the supposed revocation on September 29. weighs strongly in her favor and gives credence to her claim that her husband was manipulated and unduly influenced to make the purchase. There is nothing on record. As correctly observed by the Court of Appeals. Prior to the execution of donation inter vivos. As a rule. however. Petitioners aver that Mercedes' tax declarations in her name can not be a basis in determining the donor's intent. while the said donation was a donation Inter Vivos. On the alleged purchase by her husband of two parcels. We also note that the Court of Appeals did not refer to the tax declarations as proofs of ownership but only as evidence of the intent by the donor to transfer ownership. Was the revocation valid? A valid donation. Consequently. They claim that it is easy to get tax declarations from the government offices such that tax declarations are not considered proofs of ownership. and that said intention is clearly shown in paragraph 3 of said donation to the effect that the Donee cannot dispose and/or sell the properties donated during our life-time. the abovedescribed properties will be inherited and/or succeeded by Mercedes Danlag de Pilapil. or ingratitude. Purchase by her husband would make the properties conjugal to her own disadvantage. The deed merely stated: "WHEREAS. the records do not show that the donor-spouses instituted any action to revoke the donation in accordance with Article 769 of the Civil Code. 1993. the instant petition for review is DENIED. is AFFIRMED. becomes irrevocable." Petitioners cited Mercedes' vehemence in prohibiting the donor to gather coconut trees and her filing of instant petition for quieting of title. except on account of officiousness. failure by the donee to comply with the charges imposed in the donation. showing that private respondent prohibited the donors from gathering coconuts. in the first place. Finally.
1988 assessing donor s taxes and to desist from collecting donor s taxes from petitioners. of the property by gift.032. 27134. The claim for exemption was denied by the Commissioner. then running for the Senate. ABELLO. assailing the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA G. As aforestated. On August 2. Abello. (b) The tax shall apply whether the transfer is in trust or otherwise.J. and that. or non-resident. TEODORO D. resident.2 On appeal. without considerations therefor. petitioners filed a petition for review with the CTA. and whether the property is real or personal. SP No. Jose C. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE and COURT OF APPEALS.R. In the instant case. assessed. (a) There shall be levied. 1991 in favor of the petitioners. Angara had complete and absolute power to dispose of the contributions. 1994. as amended. respondents. CONCEPCION. a tax. Sen.032. There was simply an indication of the purpose for which they were to be used." which reversed and set aside the decision of the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA).3 The appellate Court ordered the petitioners to pay donor s tax amounting to P263. During the 1987 national elections. is subject to donor s or gift tax. Hence. the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) assessed each of the petitioners P263. Abello.661. whether the gift is direct or indirect. and whether the property is real or personal. REGALA. Regala and Cruz (ACCRA) law firm. In letters dated April 21. computed as provided in Section 92. Avelino V. the transfer of property by gift. petitioners. On September 12. 1988. For as long as the contributions were used for the purpose for which they were intended. petitioners. the contributions are voluntary transfers of property in the form of money from private respondents to Sen. 250).
. contributed P882. AVELINO V. the CTA ordered the Commissioner to desist from collecting donor s taxes from the petitioners. There was thereby no retention of control over the disposition of the contributions.66 for their contributions. A gift is generally defined as a voluntary transfer of property by one to another without any consideration or compensation therefor (28 C.MANUEL G. who are partners in the Angara. Pursuant to the above-quoted provisions of law. 91. They claimed that political or electoral contributions are not considered gifts under the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC). which was decided on October 7. entitled "Comissioner of Internal Revenue v. He was fully entitled to the economic benefits of the contributions.31 each to the campaign funds of Senator Edgardo Angara. therefore. Concepcion. Santos vs. As correctly pointed out by the Solicitor General: The fact that the contributions were given to be used as campaign funds of Sen. 1988. Regala. reasoning as follows: The National Internal Revenue Code. tangible or intangible. provides: Sec. whether the gift is direct or indirect. Concepcion. they squarely fall under the definition of donation or gift. Angara. CRUZ. petitioners questioned the assessment through a letter to the BIR. whether the transfer is in trust or otherwise. and paid upon the transfer by any person. JOSE C. they are not liable for donor s tax. Angara does not affect the character of the fund transfers as donation or gift. 1988. Imposition of Tax.66 each. Manuel G. 28 Phil. This is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Civil Procedure. tangible or intangible. ordering the Commissioner of Internal Revenue (Commissioner) to withdraw his letters dated April 21. 1988 and August 4. collected. 620. Cruz and Court of Tax Appeals. Teodoro D. vs. Robledo. the Court of Appeals reversed and set aside the CTA decision on April 20.
DID THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERR IN NOT CONSIDERING THE AMERICAN JURISPRUDENCE RELIED UPON BY THE COURT OF TAX APPEALS AND BY THE PETITIONERS TO THE EFFECT THAT POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS ARE NOT TAXABLE GIFTS? 6.Section 91 of the Tax Code is very clear. the recipient-donee does not regard himself as exchanging his services or his product for the money contributed. an unsettled issue. Raised are the following issues: 1. 1995. 1974). political contributions in the Philippines are considered taxable gift rather than taxable income. DID THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERR WHEN IT FAILED TO CONSIDER IN ITS DECISION THE PURPOSE BEHIND THE ENACTMENT OF OUR GIFT TAX LAW? 2. which reads: Political Contributions. it cannot be presumed that the Philippine Congress then had intended to consider or treat political contributions as non-taxable gifts when it adopted the said gift tax law. 546. and not to employ or buy. Generally. there is no doubt that political contributions are taxable gifts.) Accordingly. (5206. For internal revenue purposes. Sutherland. On the other hand.4 Petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration. DID THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERR IN NOT CONSIDERING THE ADMINISTRATIVE PRACTICE OF CLOSE TO HALF A CENTURY OF NOT SUBJECTING POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS TO DONORS TAX? 5. political contributions in the Philippines are subject to the donor s gift tax. 1995. Hence. His purpose is to give and to bolster the morals. wellsettled is the rule that the Philippines need not necessarily adopt the present rule or construction in the United States on the matter. Edgardo Angara are taxable gifts. gift tax law was adopted in the Philippines (before May 7. p. (cited in National Internal Revenue Code Annotated by Hector S.S. In the light of the above BIR Ruling. 344 on July 20.. p. DID THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERR IN NOT CONSIDERING THE INTENTION OF THE GIVERS IN DETERMINING WHETHER OR NOT THE PETITIONERS POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS WERE GIFTS SUBJECT TO DONORS TAX? 3. Statutory Construction. This is so. But more importantly he receives financial advantages gratuitously. 1988. it is clear that the political contributions of the private respondents to Sen.nét The Bureau of Internal Revenue issued Ruling No. Moreover. A donor s or gift tax is imposed on the transfer of property by gift.1awphi1. which the Court of Appeals denied in its resolution of June 16. 1991 ed. statutes of different states relating to the same class of persons or things or having the same purposes are not considered to be in pari materia because it cannot be justifiably presumed that the legislature had them in mind when enacting the provision being construed. 290). the winning chance of the candidate and/or his party. the taxability of political contributions was. The vagueness of the law as to what comprise the gift subject to tax was made concrete by the above-quoted BIR ruling. When the U. DID THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERR WHEN IT FAILED TO CONSIDER THE DEFINITION OF AN "ELECTORAL CONTRIBUTION" UNDER THE OMNIBUS ELECTION CODE IN DETERMINING WHETHER OR NOT POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS ARE TAXABLE? 4. de Leon. admittedly. hence. in the absence of an express exempting provision of law. but bestowed only because of motives of philanthropy or charity.5 Petitioners thereupon filed the instant petition on July 26. DID THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERR IN NOT APPLYING AMERICAN JURISPRUDENCE ON THE GROUND THAT THIS WAS NOT KNOWN AT THE TIME THE PHILIPPINES GIFT TAX LAW WAS ADOPTED IN 1939?
. because a political contribution is indubitably not intended by the giver or contributor as a return of value or made because of any intent to repay another what is his due.
an act of liberality whereby a person disposes gratuitously of a thing or right in favor of another. the late Manuel G. who accepts it. Abello8 . Taken together with the Civil Code definition of donation. When the law is clear and free from any doubt or ambiguity. (b) the increase in the patrimony of the donee. Regala and Avelino V. Development Bank of the Philippines. assessed. Concepcion. DID THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERR WHEN IT DID NOT CONSTRUE THE GIFT TAX LAW LIBERALLY IN FAVOR OF THE TAXPAYER AND STRICLTY AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH APPLICABLE PRINCIPLES OF STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION?6 First.7. Donation has the following elements: (a) the reduction of the patrimony of the donor. The patrimony of the four petitioners were reduced by P882. Petitioners. their deficiency shall be supplied by the provisions of this Code. reference may be made to the definition of a donation in the Civil Code. .249 .661. 138 SCRA 273 .31 to the campaign funds of Senator Edgardo Angara. whether the gift is direct or indirect. Inc. and.645.530. Fifth and Sixth Issues Section 91 of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC) reads: (A) There shall be levied. there is no room for construction or interpretation. tangible or intangible. thereby leaving no room for construction. The NIRC does not define transfer of property by gift. there is no occasion for interpretation. Luzon Surety Co.661. Intermediate Appellate Court10 the Court enunciated: It bears stressing that the first and fundamental duty of the Court is to apply the law. Teodoro D. Jose C. Municipality of Naga. 24 SCRA 708 ) Where the law is clear and unambiguous. DID THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERR IN RESOLVING THE CASE MAINLY ON THE BASIS OF A RULING ISSUED BY THE RESPONDENT ONLY AFTER THE ASSESSMENTS HAD ALREADY BEEN MADE? 8. De Garcia. v. Quijano v. Article 18 of the Civil Code. states: In matters which are governed by the Code of Commerce and special laws. collected and paid upon the transfer by any person. Cruz. However. Senator Edgardo Angara s patrimony correspondingly increased by P3. there is only room for application (Cebu Portland Cement Co.
. Article 725 of said Code defines donation as: . (c) the intent to do an act of liberality or animus donandi. 35 SCRA 270 ). 30 SCRA 111 . Section 91 of the NIRC is clear and unambiguous.7 The present case falls squarely within the definition of a donation. v. In Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation v. Thus. There was intent to do an act of liberality or animus donandi was present since each of the petitioners gave their contributions without any consideration. . of the property by gift. where the law speaks in clear and categorical language. a tax.. computed as provided in Section 92 (B) The tax shall apply whether the transfer is in trust or otherwise. As has been our consistent ruling. it must be taken to mean exactly what it says and the court has no choice but to see to it that its mandate is obeyed (Chartered Bank Employees Association v. Ople.31 each. resident or nonresident. and whether the property is real or personal. each gave P882. without any material consideration. All three elements of a donation are present.
Second. Third Issue Petitioners maintain that the definition of an "electoral contribution" under the Omnibus Election Code is essential to appreciate how a political contribution differs from a taxable gift. This Court reiterates that donative intent is not negated by the presence of other intentions. which is to interpret the law according to its true intent.Only when the law is ambiguous or of doubtful meaning may the court interpret or construe its true intent. Since the purpose of an electoral contribution is to influence the results of the election. In fine. motives or purposes which do not contradict donative intent. cannot be considered as a material consideration so as to negate a donation. petitioners again claim that donative intent is not present. In fact. donative intent is presumed present when one gives a part of ones patrimony to another without consideration. of being understood in more than one way. would influence the shaping of government policies that would promote the general welfare and economic well-being of the electorate. motives or purposes which do not contradict donative intent. Petitioners would distinguish a gift from a political donation by saying that the consideration for a gift is the liberality of the donor. the Court is called upon to exercise one of its judicial functions. in the perception of the giver. including the giver himself. the purpose for which the sums of money were given.l^vvphi1.11 Section 94(a) of the said Code defines electoral contribution as follows: The term "contribution" includes a gift. promise or agreement to contribute. First of all. This Court is not convinced that since the purpose of the contribution was to help elect a candidate. for the benefit of the greater good. donation. Petitioners attempt to place the barrier of mutual exclusivity between donative intent and the purpose of political contributions. made for the purpose of influencing the results of the elections but shall not include services rendered without compensation by individuals volunteering a portion or all of their time in behalf of a candidate or political party. It cannot be perceived except by the material and tangible acts which manifest its presence. advance or deposit of money or anything of value.net Ambiguity is a condition of admitting two or more meanings. in no way amounts to a valuable material consideration so as to remove political contributions from the purview of a donation. the money value of which can be assessed based on the rates prevailing in the area. Senator Angara was under no obligation to benefit the petitioners. whether or not legally enforceable. This being the case. A statute is ambiguous if it is admissible of two or more possible meanings. while the consideration for a political contribution is the desire of the giver to influence the result of an election by supporting candidates who. The proper performance of his duties as a legislator is his obligation as an elected public servant of the Filipino people and not a consideration for the political contributions he received. donative intent is a creature of the mind. donative intent is not negated when the person donating has other intentions. Petitioners attempt is strained.
. or of referring to two or more things at the same time. as a public servant. he may even be called to enact laws that are contrary to the interests of his benefactors. loan. petitioners argue that it is important to look into the intention of the giver to determine if a political contribution is a gift. Second Issue Since animus donandi or the intention to do an act of liberality is an essential element of a donation. Petitioners contribution of money without any material consideration evinces animus donandi. there was no donative intent. subscription. The fact that their purpose for donating was to aid in the election of the donee does not negate the presence of donative intent. or a contract. It shall also include the use of facilities voluntarily donated by other persons. in which case. which was to fund the campaign of Senator Angara in his bid for a senatorial seat. The fact that petitioners will somehow in the future benefit from the election of the candidate to whom they contribute. Petitioners argument is not tenable.
This rule of construction. 1991. since the same were made prior to the exempting legislation. 98 Phil. v. It is a well-entrenched rule that . are not subject to the payment of any gift tax. up to 1988 the BIR never attempted to subject political contributions to donor s tax. . 7166 provides no retroactive effect on this point. namely BIR Ruling No.13 Seventh Issue Petitioners question the fact that the Court of Appeals decision is based on a BIR ruling. SO ORDERED. 90 Phil. 52 Phil. As discussed above. entitled to great weight and the highest respect. Eighth Issue Petitioners next contend that tax laws are construed liberally in favor of the taxpayer and strictly against the government. however. Finally. the petition is DENIED and the assailed Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals are AFFIRMED. erroneous application and enforcement of the law by public officers do not block subsequent correct application of the statute (PLDT v. 88-344. . . It is immaterial whether or not the Court of Appeals based its decision on the BIR ruling because it is not pivotal in deciding this case. It is a familiar principle of law that prolonged practice by the government agency charged with the execution of a statute. 803. 7166 on November 25. is an authoritative interpretation thereof. Collector of Internal Revenue. and that the Government is never estopped by mistake or error on the part of its agents (Pineda v. 711.12 This Court holds that the BIR is not precluded from making a new interpretation of the law. . as stated. does not benefit petitioners because. . Court of First Instance of Tayabas. This all the more shows that the political contributions herein made are subject to the payment of gift taxes. and Republic Act No. duly reported to the Commission on Elections. is clear and unambiguous. . and needs no further elucidation. Congress approved Republic Act No.
.Fourth Issue Petitioners raise the fact that since 1939 when the first Tax Code was enacted. providing in Section 13 thereof that political/electoral contributions. 676). Pineda. No costs. Benguet Consolidated Mining Co. there is here no room for construction since the law is clear and unambiguous. WHEREFORE. . This Court does not need to delve into this issue. acquiesced in and relied upon by all concerned over an appreciable period of time. which was issued after the petitioners were assessed for donor s tax. Section 91 (now Section 98) of the NIRC as supplemented by the definition of a donation found in Article 725 of the Civil Code. this Court takes note of the fact that subsequent to the donations involved in this case. especially when the old interpretation was flawed. They argue that: . 807. 724).
Rodrigo C.VICTORIA MOREÑO-LENTFER. After trial. Defendants-appellees spouses Genter11 and Victoria Moreno-Lentfer and John Craigie Young Cross are jointly and severally held liable to pay plaintiff-appellant the amount of 220.* GUNTER LENTFER and JOHN CRAIGIE YOUNG CROSS.R. A promissory note was executed by said respondent in favor of petitioner Cross. however. residing in San Lorenzo Village. 48272. and Resolution2 dated February 22. Puerto Galera. dismissing the complaint for the reason that plaintiff has not established a cause of action against the defendants with costs against the plaintiff. and 3.12
. the date the amount was received by defendant-appellee Victoria Moreno-Lentfer.00 DM German Currency or its present peso equivalent plus legal interest starting from March 8.000 Deutschmarks (DM) would be paid by respondent Hans Jurgen Wolff. For review on certiorari are the Decision1 dated June 14.000. petitioners.000. judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the defendants and against the plaintiff. R4219 with the lower court for annulment of sale and reconveyance of property with damages and prayer for a writ of attachment. respondent appealed to the Court of Appeals. Puerto Galera. R-4219. 1992. an Australian citizen.00 Philippine Currency.0004 at Solid Bank Corporation. he paid Cross the amount of DM 221. a time deposit account in the amount of DM 200. Branch 39. CV No. vs. thus: WHEREFORE. the court a quo dismissed the complaint for failure to establish a cause of action. but the total consideration of 220. the Lentfer couple urged him to buy petitioner Cross' beach house and lease rights in Puerto Galera.000. 2.6 The assignment of the lease right was likewise made in favor of Moreño-Lentfer. According to respondent. HANS JURGEN WOLFF.7 Upon learning of this.8 Aggrieved. The decision reversed the judgment3 of the Regional Trial Court of Calapan City. However. and (2) the assignment of Cross' contract of lease on the land where the house stood.9 But in its Decision10 dated June 14. Respondent agreed and through a bank-to-bank transaction. respondent. The facts are as follows: The petitioners are Gunter Lentfer. representing the amount of expenses incurred in the repairs and maintenance of the property plus legal interest starting from October 28. Oriental Mindoro. The case against defendant-appellee Rodrigo Dimayacyac is dismissed. Apprised of his interest to own a house along a beach. 2001. 2002. 2001. in Civil Case No. respondent filed a Complaint docketed as Civil Case No.7005 as total consideration for the sale and assignment of the lease rights. and John Craigie Young Cross. they engaged the notarial services of Atty. thus: ACCORDINGLY. 1993. SO ORDERED. the date of the last final demand letter. as follows: 1. Petitioners alleged that with respondent. the appellate court reversed the decision of the trial court. the Lentfer spouses were his confidants who held in trust for him. Respondent Hans Jurgen Wolff is a German citizen. on March 6. of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. Oriental Mindoro. Makati City. a German citizen. Victoria Moreño-Lentfer. The above defendants-appellees are jointly and severally held liable to pay plaintiff-appellant the amount of P200. SO ORDERED. Dimayacyac surreptitiously executed a deed of sale whereby the beach house was made to appear as sold to Moreño-Lentfer for only P100. Oriental Mindoro. all residing in Sabang. his Filipina wife. Cross. the judgment appealed from is hereby REVERSED and a new one is hereby rendered. The sale of the beach house and the assignment of the lease right would be in the name of petitioner Victoria Moreño-Lentfer. Moreño-Lentfer and Atty. Dimayacyac for: (1) the sale of a beach house owned by petitioner Cross in Sabang. 1992.
the qualifying circumstance in Art. who in this case is Cross.16 But when a large amount of money is involved. Further. the appellate court found that respondent is not related or even close to the Lentfer spouses. Moreover. Previously. equivalent to P3. Petitioner Moreño-Lentfer's claim of either cash or property donation rings hollow. 748 for instances of oral donation. Respondent counters that Article 1238 bears no relevance to the case since it applies only to contracts of loan where payment is made by a third person to a creditor in favor of a debtor of a previously incurred obligation. Payment made by a third person who does not intend to be reimbursed by the debtor is deemed to be a donation. Respondent Moreño-Lentfer at that time claimed the beach house. in contrast. The absence of intention to be reimbursed. which requires the debtor's consent.000 for the entire period of his stay for ten weeks. the seller is the creditor. Trying to apply Art. was donated to her. respondent had trusted the Lentfer spouses to keep a time deposit account for him with Solid Bank for the purpose of making the purchase of the cited properties. Respondent also calls our attention to the sudden change in petitioners' theory. Moreover. the instant petition raising the following issues: 1) DOES ARTICLE 1238 OF THE NEW CIVIL CODE APPLY IN THE CASE AT BAR?13 2) DOES THE PRINCIPLE OF SOLUTIO INDEBITI UNDER ARTICLE 2154 OF THE NEW CIVIL CODE. he immediately filed a complaint for annulment of the sale and reconveyance of the property with damages and prayer for a writ of attachment. based on the exchange rate in the year 1992. by virtue of Article 1238. 1238. But in any event. 1238. namely Moreño-Lentfer in this case. Thus. we are constrained to take the petitioners' claim of liberality of the donor with more than a grain of salt. THE PRINCIPLE OF JUSTICE AND EQUITY. they insist that what was actually donated was the money used in the purchase of subject properties. respondent actually stayed in the beach house in the concept of an owner and shouldered the expenses for its maintenance and repair amounting to P200. to say that it was only the money used in the purchase that was donated to her. Petitioners insist that respondent did not intend to be reimbursed for said payment and debtor Moreño-Lentfer consented to it. 1238 to the instant case is like forcing a square peg into a round hole.800. before the Court of Appeals. the petitioners claimed that what was donated were the subject properties. together with the lease right. But before this Court. we find petitioners' stance without merit. Respondent is the third person who paid the consideration on behalf of Moreño-Lentfer. respondent argues his conduct never at any time intimated any intention to donate in favor of petitioner Moreño-Lentfer. is negated by the facts of this case. Respondent further says there was no simultaneous delivery of the money as required by Art. respondent contends that the alleged donation is void for non-compliance with the formal requirements set by law. and the buyer is the debtor. Citing Article 74815 of the New Civil Code. APPLY IN THE CASE AT BAR?14 Article 1238 of the New Civil Code provides: ART. both the donation and its acceptance must be in writing for the donation to be valid. Article 1238 of the New Civil Code is not applicable in this case.000. who accepts it. A donation is a simple act of liberality where a person gives freely of a thing or right in favor of another. Petitioners posit that in a contract of sale.297.Hence. When respondent learned that the sale of the beach house and assignment of the lease right were in favor of Victoria Moreño-Lentfer. Obviously. But the payment is in any case valid as to the creditor who has accepted it. Respondent's acts contradict any intention to donate the properties to petitioner Moreño-Lentfer. payment by respondent is considered a donation.
. The instant case. she had changed her theory. involves a contract of sale where no real creditor-debtor relationship exists between the parties. the debtor. Noteworthy. On this point. respondent avers that since the amount involved exceeds P5.
respondent's expenses for the maintenance and repair of the beach house is for his own account as owner thereof. and (2) the payment is made through mistake. PAY respondent Wolff nominal damages in the amount of P50. Since Moreño-Lentfer received something when there was no right to demand it. Moreño-Lentfer. since respondent's property right has been invaded through defraudation and abuse of confidence committed by petitioners. two conditions must concur to declare that a person has unjustly enriched himself or herself. 2001 and Resolution dated February 22. It need not be an issue for now. The principle of justice and equity does not work in her favor but in favor of respondent Wolff. It was not. They add that since it was not annulled. Petitioners--particularly the spouses Gunter Lentfer and Victoria Moreño-Lentfer--are hereby ORDERED to: 1. of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. namely: (a) a person is unjustly benefited. The Court of Appeals held that respondent was not entitled to the reconveyance of the properties because. SO ORDERED. she had an obligation to return it. petitioners insist that since the deed of sale in favor of Moreño-Lentfer was neither identified or marked nor formally offered in evidence. and the person who received the payment. We note. dated June 14.20 Following Article 2221 of the New Civil Code. The quasi-contract of solutio indebiti harks back to the ancient principle that no one shall enrich himself unjustly at the expense of another. fraud and abuse of confidence. the petition is hereby DENIED.19 In the instant case.297.24 pursuant to Articles 222125 and 222226 of the New Civil Code. who has no duty to pay. Since reconveyance is the proper remedy. 48272 reversing the lower court's judgment are AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION. Since the subject of donation is the purchase money. She acquired the properties through deceit. Accordingly. The payment was clearly a mistake. the parties unjustly enriched would be liable to the other party who suffered thereby by being correspondingly injured or damaged. Respondent was under no duty to make such payment for the benefit of Moreño-Lentfer. Art.
. There was no binding relation between respondent and the beneficiary. A clear distinction exists between the ownership of a piece of land and the mere lease of the land where the foreigner's house stands. however. WHEREFORE. inter alia. of the express prohibition under the Constitution23 that non-Filipino citizens cannot acquire land in the Philippines. and 2. the donation is invalid for non-compliance with the formal requisites prescribed by law. CV No. petitioners argue. 2002. records show that a bank-to-bank payment was made by respondent Wolff to petitioner Cross in favor of co-petitioner Moreño-Lentfer.22 We are convinced petitioner Moreño-Lentfer had been unjustly enriched at the expense of respondent. the same cannot be given any evidentiary value. If so.000.18 It applies where (1) a payment is made when there exists no binding relation between the payor.Petitioners could not brush aside the fact that a donation must comply with the mandatory formal requirements set forth by law for its validity. and not through liberality or some other cause. Thus. Costs against petitioners. we see no legal reason why reconveyance could not be allowed. RECONVEY to respondent Hans Jurgen Wolff the beach house and the lease right over the land on which it is situated.R.000. However. the donation of money equivalent to P3. we deem it just and equitable under the circumstances to award respondent nominal damages in the amount of P50. Hence. if the demands of justice are to be served. it remains valid and binding. The constitutional prohibition against aliens from owning land in the Philippines has no actual bearing in this case. and (b) such benefit is derived at the expense of or to the damage of another.00.800 as well as its acceptance should have been in writing. that subject properties consist of a beach house and the lease right over the land where the beach house stands. Whatever she may have received by mistake from and at the expense of respondent should thus be returned to the latter. Hence. The assailed Decision. 748 of the New Civil Code is applicable. the principle of solutio indebiti under Article 215417 of the New Civil Code should be the applicable provision in the resolution of this controversy. Anent the second issue.
TAN. premises considered. 56941. with an area of about 300 square meters. Belen Ocampo-Barrito and Vicente Barrito. to defendants Fidela Ll. namely: (a) A parcel of residential/commercial land situated in the poblacion of Nabua. and on the NW by Julian Ocampo and Carmen Ocampo. the judgment appealed from is. ANTONIA OCAMPO. The complaint and supplemental complaint are dismissed for failure of the plaintiffs to prove their cause/causes of action by preponderance of evidence and on the added ground of prescription.240. The decretal portion of the Decision reads as follows: "WHEREFORE. The plaintiffs are ordered to pay as their joint and several obligation. (b) A parcel of residential land situated at San Luis.00. married to Vicente Barrito and previously covered by TCT No. 13654 in the name of Belen Ocampo-Barrito. QUIEN. FELIX OCAMPO JR. holds and declares that defendant Belen Ocampo-Barrito. Petitioners. Camarines Sur. The Case Before this Court is a Petition for Review1 under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. MERCEDITA OCAMPO. NEMESIO LL. RAMON OCAMPO. the total sum of P15. IMELDA OCAMPO and JOSE OCAMPO.00 as described and referred to in paragraph 9. RT-4389(983) in the name of Fidela Ocampo. Camarines Sur.00 for moral damages. declared under TD No. and ERNESTO O."3 The CA affirmed the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Decision. 18856 and assessed at P17.00 for attorney¶s fees and other expenses of litigation and P50. on the East by Lot 9543. OCAMPO. (c) A parcel of land situated at Sto. 3. Respondents. bounded on the North and East by a barrio road. Ocampo. which decreed thus: "WHEREFORE. on the South by Lot 10325.. MARIA DOLORES OCAMPO. vs. JUANA OCAMPO.240. declared under TD No. in all other respects. FIDELA OCAMPO. OCAMPO Now Substituted by MARIANO O. married to Vicente Barrito. QUIEN. and on the West by Lot 237.000. OCAMPO. VIOLETA OCAMPO. Nabua. BELEN OCAMPO-BARRITO. assailing the October 31. bounded on the NE by Carmen Ocampo and Alberto Espiritu..4 rendered on October 30. are the true and lawful exclusive owners of the following properties.00. LUISA OCAMPO-LLORIN. on the South by a creek. (b) and (c) of the original complaint and it is hereby ordered that: 1. Camarines Sur. 19639 with an assessed value of P6. MIGUEL OCAMPO. AMELITA Q. petitioners should rely on the strength of their own title and not on the alleged weakness of respondents claim. Without costs. VICENTE BARRITO. In an action involving property. Nabua. the Court finds. MELITA F. MILOVAN O. 35122 and assessed at P6780.000. Basic is the rule that the party making an allegation in a civil case has the burden of proving it by a preponderance of evidence. declared under TD No. 1996. 2. The plaintiffs jointly and severally pay the cost of this suit. FIDELA LL. on the SW by a street. OCAMPO.119 square meters. ELISA OCAMPO. bounded on the North by Lot 10323. and on the West by Lot 10322. AFFIRMED. sub-paragraphs (a). with an area of about 4884 square meters.
. LUIS OCAMPO JR. Domingo. containing an area of 1. REBECCA OCAMPO. presently covered by TCT No. more or less. BEATRIZ OCAMPO. 2001 Decision2 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-GR CV No.APOLONIA LL. FELICIDAD LL. JONAS OCAMPO. JUAN JOHNNY OCAMPO. OCAMPO. ANDRES OCAMPO SR. FORTUNO. on the SE by the Burgos Street. with the sole modification that the awards for damages and attorney s fees are hereby deleted.
on the SE by the Burgos Street. Andres. they undertook earnest efforts to amicably settle this controversy but because of defendants Fidela Ocampo and Felicidad Ocampo[s] utterly unreasonable and unjustified actuations. namely: Fidela. the following are already dead. who is survived by Carlos Llorin and children Mecita. the following summation of the relevant and material antecedents of the case by the court a quo. Apolonia. and the plaintiffs. Carmelita and Marilou L. who is survived by his widow. who is survived by Ernesto O. and (c) A parcel of land situated at Sto. Nemesio. Rebecca. namely: Felix. and on the West by Lot 10322.780.000."5 The Facts The CA adopted the RTC¶s summation of facts as follows: "Notwithstanding its somewhat deficient grammar and syntax. Carlos. Felix. Fortuno.. on the SW by a Street. they begot ten (10) children. of defendants be cancelled. Camarines Sur. brothers and sisters.000. Of the aforementioned children.. Andres. Ramon and Miguel. their agents and representatives as well as successors-in-interest are ordered to respect the right of ownership of said defendants thereto. Manuel. on the East by Lot 9543. and. presently covered by TCT No. on the South by Lot 10325. the proceeds of which were x x x exclusively to the benefit of said defendants only. the same failed. 35122 and assessed at P6. on the South by a creek. Jose. Camarines Sur. that all the above named parcels of land are actually owned in common by the children of the late spouses Jose Ocampo and Juana Llander Ocampo although the land denominated as parcel (a) of the complaint is ostensibly registered in the name of Fidela Ocampo alone but acknowledged by her as a property owned in common by all of them. namely: (a) A parcel of residential/ commercial land situated in the poblacion of Nabua. with an area of about 300 square meters.4. Maria Dolores. is substantially correct -This is a civil suit for partition and damages filed by plaintiffs against the defendants. and to vacate and restore the lawful possession of all portions of said properties to herein defendants.00 a year. and Luis. Domingo. RT-4389(983) in the name of Fidela Ocampo. declared under TD No.240.884 square meters.119 square meters. Nabua. The complaint further alleges that during the lifetime of the spouses Jose Ocampo and Luisa Llander-Ocampo. and Luisa.240. Arellano.. Melita F. Jr. Ricardo. Jr. who is survived by Juana Ocampo and children Jose. Jose. Felicidad. Nabua.00 loan. Upon the finality of this decision. that because of their relationship.00. that plaintiffs desire to partition said properties but defendants Fidela Ocampo and Felicidad unlawfully and unreasonably refuse to do so and moved by a common purpose. Camarines Sur. their agents. declared under TD No.00. bounded on the North by Lot 10323. both of them mortgaged to the PNB the land denominated as parcel (a) of the complaint to secure the payment of a P110. they acquired several parcels of land and. Luis. containing an area of 1. who is survived by his children Rose. 18856 and assessed at P17. bounded on the NE by Carmen Ocampo and Alberto Espiritu. Rosario. Elias and Juan (Johnny). Jr. with an area of about 4. declared under TD No. and on the NW by Julian Ocampo and Carmen Ocampo. Rosario. and on the West by Lot 237. Luisa. The complaint alleges that during the lifetime of the spouses Jose Ocampo and Juana Llander-Ocampo. Violeta and Mercedita. bounded on the North and East by a barrio road. (b) A parcel of residential land situated at San Luis. the notice of lis pendens annotated at plaintiffs¶ behest in the Certificates of Title covering the properties in question. representatives and successors-in-interest. upon their death. Andres. Ocampo and children Felix. left the following properties. Imelda. Fidela and Luis. more or less. who is survived by his children Antonia. Jonas. that the same defendants Fidela Ocampo and Felicidad Ocampo have been receiving the fruits of the properties to the exclusion of their co-heirs amounting to not less than P2. xxx-xxx-xxx
. 19639 with an assessed value of P6.00.
Ocampo in their favor on 13 January 1984. public. Felicidad Ll. are liable for moral damages of not less than P50. Ocampo and the mother of the donees. her predecessor-in-interest. that defendants Fidela Ll. IR1867 of which the donor Fidela Ll. Ocampo in favor of Belen Ocampo-Barrito and Vicente Barrito be declare[d] null and void. and actual possession of the property in concept of absolute owner
. TCT No. a writ of preliminary injunction to be issued against them to enjoin the commission of such acts. that the transfer of defendants Fidela Ll.00. married to defendant Vicente Barrito. that on 30 September 1987. RT-4389(983) in the name of defendant Fidela Ocampo and covering the lot described as parcel (a) in paragraph 9 of the original complaint was cancelled and. causing injury to plaintiffs rights in a manner inconsistent with morals and good customs. jointly and severally. moral and exemplary damages.00 by way of attorney¶s fees and related expenses of litigation. plus the costs of the suit. Ocampo. to release or otherwise cancel any and all encumbrances on TCT No. 1364 was issued to defendant Belen Ocampo-Barrito. a very old spinster whom they have lately taken into their custody. that defendants have not acted with justice. Ocampo and the spouses Belen Ocampo-Barrito and Vicente Barrito have not acted in good faith. 1364. particularly. xxx-xxx-xxx As Special Defenses. defendants should be assessed exemplary damages of not less than P50. plaintiffs pray that judgment be rendered ordering the partition of the properties described in paragraph 9 of the complaint. since 1949 has been the absolute owner in fee simple of the property by virtue of the issuance of the certificate of title in her name. Ocampo was not the exclusive owner thereof. RT-4389(983) which they had caused to be annotated thereon. xxx-xxx-xxx On 17 December 1987. honesty and good faith. actual and deliberate. and. and that to set an example for the public good and to deter others similarly minded from doing so. and that the donor Fidela Ll. both the donor and donees were notoriously aware that said parcel of land was among the lots subject of this Civil Case No. through dubious means and undue influence over Fidela Ll. defendant Belen Ocampo-Barrito allege that the original defendant Fidela Ll. (c) directing defendants.000. are defendants.In their complaint. ordering defendants Fidela Ocampo and Felicidad Ocampo to submit an accounting of the fruits and other produce they had received from said properties. Ocampo and Belen Ocampo-Barrito of the ownership over said property now subject of this partition is tainted with fraud. Registry of Camarines Sur. hence. the mortgage in favor of the PNB. Ocampo. counsel for plaintiffs filed a Motion to Admit Supplemental Complaint dated 2 December 1987 which was granted by the Court as there was no opposition to it. Plaintiffs pray that judgment be rendered (a) declaring the Deed of Donation Inter Vivos allegedly executed by Fidela Ll. RT-4389(983) free of all encumbrances and adverse claims and was in notorious. (b) ordering defendants Belen Ocampo-Barrito and Vicente Barrito to reconvey so much of the property subject thereof as pertain to the plaintiffs. TCT No.00. to deprive plaintiffs of their legitimate share therein. that said properties were owned by the Ocampo brothers and sisters.000.000. inclusive of attorney s fees and related expenses of litigation. Ocampo. deliberately causing damage and injury to the plaintiffs by their avaricious desire to obtain sole ownership of said properties through dubious and illegal means that the defendant spouses Belen Ocampo-Barrito and Vicente Barrito. in lieu thereof. that at the time the Deed of Donation Inter Vivos was presented for registration and when TCT No. knowing as they do that the same are a co-ownership of the original parties plaintiffs and defendants herein. and (d) granting plaintiffs such other remedies as may be just and equitable in the premises. on the strength of an allege[d] Deed of Donation Inter Vivos ostensibly executed by defendant Fidela Ll. that her predecessor-in-interest held the same certificate of title to the same parcel of land (TCT No. further granting plaintiffs such other remedies as may be just and equitable in the premises. was issued to defendant Belen Ocampo-Barrito. succeeded in having the latter execute this supposed deed of donation inter vivos. The Supplemental Complaint alleges that defendants Helen Ocampo-Barrito and Vicente Barrito are spouses. ordering defendants Fidela Ocampo and Felicidad Ocampo. to indemnify plaintiffs such amounts as this Honorable Court may consider fair and reasonable by way of actual. further ordering Fidela Ocampo and Felicidad Ocampo to indemnify plaintiffs the sum of not less than P15. requiring Fidela Ocampo and Felicidad Ocampo to refrain from further encumbering said properties or otherwise subjecting the same to any lien and for that purpose.
Ocampo for the latter to execute the deed of donation while clearly admitting in both the original and supplemental complaints that defendants are residents of Mindoro Occidental a far away place from Nabua. that assuming that plaintiffs have a cause of action. the same is barred by laches.000.000. other than the Acknowledgment of Co-ownership7 executed by Respondent Fidela Ocampo. however. defendant Fidela Ll. xxx-xxx-xxx As the Special and/or Affirmative Defenses.from 1949 until 13 January 1984. to pay attorney s fees in the amount of P15.00 for exemplary damages. 1364 was issued to defendant Belen Ocampo-Barrito on the strength of the donation inter vivos executed in her favor by her predecessor-in-interest and has since 30 September 1987. by the ancient photograph showing Spouses Chino Jose and Juana Llander Ocampo with their ten children in front of the disputed property.00 as compensatory damages.1-15-61" engraved on the said house or building. either. The CA held that this piece of documentary evidence could not prevail over the array of testimonial and documentary evidence that had been adduced by respondents to prove their defenses. or by another picture showing the name "Oniang Ocampo -. and.00 for moral damages. According to the CA.00. xxx-xxx-xxx Defendant Fidela Ll. Ocampo prays that judgment be rendered dismissing the complaint and ordering plaintiffs to indemnify such sum as will be proved as well as [s]uch amount as this Court may assess by way of moral and exemplary damages and costs. that the [D]eed of Donation Inter Vivos and the subsequent transfer of the property mentioned in paragraph 9 of the complaint to other defendants Belen Ocamp[o]-Barrito is valid conveyance which binds the said property.000. been the absolute owner thereof. the properties would revert to the younger brothers and sisters. that the properties have been declared for assessment in defendant s name as exclusive owner thereof and since her acquisition of said properties.000. Communal ownership of the property in question was supposedly not proven. since becoming owner thereof. and for other just and equitable remedies. Camarines Sur. no documentary evidence was offered to establish petitioners claim of co-ownership. that Belen Ocampo-Barrito s title cannot be collaterally attacked in these supposed partition proceedings.
. including necessary expenses for litigation. xxx-xxx-xxx Defendants pray that the case be dismissed for utter lack of merit and plaintiffs be ordered to pay defendants the sum of P200. and for just and equitable reliefs. when said predecessor-in-interest validly conveyed the property by donation inter vivos which she accepted in the same public instrument. has paid the taxes thereon. and. been in actual possession thereof excepting the portion of the lot described in paragraph 9 (a) of the complaint and covered by Torrens title which was and is still being unlawfully occupied by plaintiffs Quiens. that since 1949 none of the plaintiffs ever questioned the absolute ownership and title of defendant Belen OcampoBarrito s predecessor-in-interest over the property making the decree of registration incontrovertible."6 Ruling of the Court of Appeals According to the appellate court. the place where the same predecessor-in-interest admittedly resides. plaintiffs herein included. Ocampo alleges that she is the true and absolute owner of the real properties described in paragraph 9 of the original complaint having acquired the same by lucrative title and has. Petitioners explained that upon the death of the eldest sibling. The court a quo rejected the argument of petitioners that the title to the subject property had been placed in the name of Fidela. that TCT No. not a shred of evidence was adduced to prove that such a Chinese custom existed or was observed in that place. that it is fatal for plaintiffs cause of action to allege that defendants exerted undue influence over Fidela Ll. because their parents followed the Chinese custom of placing properties in the name of the eldest son or daughter who was single. that defendant had exercised continuously all the legal incidents of ownership on said lands to the exclusion of and adversely to the public. P50. P100.
Where the evidence presented. the legal and the equitable bases therefor. rebutted or impeached. Thus. on the question of co-ownership. did the courts commit grave abuse of discretion in holding that there is no co-ownership? "3. is overwhelming as it is unopposed. the CA said that respondents were able to give clear proof of their ownership of the property: the Transfer Certificate of Title and the corresponding Tax Declaration in the name of Fidela.8 The Issues Petitioners raise the following issues for our consideration: "1. In contrast to the arguments of petitioners. petitioners appeal dealt only with the first one. referred to in the Statement of Facts above -. is said deed valid? "5. Where the evidence of respondents is weak.11
. did the courts commit a grave misapprehension of facts when they gave credence to it? "4. and later of Belen Ocampo-Barrito.The CA also dismissed petitioners contention that common ownership was indicated by the fact that some of the children of Spouses Ocampo stayed and lived on the subject property. we clarify that although there were three (3) properties originally involved in the litigation brought before the RTC. this Petition. puerile and inconsistent.119 square meters in all. petitioners declared that "the focus of this case is on the first [property] which is located at downtown Poblacion of Nabua and therefore a valuable piece of property. did the courts commit grave abuse of discretion in holding there is no such declaration?"9 At bottom. because the trial court had failed to cite the factual. unrebutted and unimpeached."10 Because petitioners had not questioned the RTC Decision with regard to the other properties. It ruled that fraternal affection could have been the motive that impelled respondents to allow their relatives to use it. has coownership been proved? "2. assailed. In their CA appeal. Main Issue: Ownership of the Subject Property
At the outset. Where a declaration against interest has not been opposed. Hence. public possession by co-owners. the CA eliminated the awards for damages and attorney s fees. oral and documentary. Where a deed of donation intervivos entered in bad faith deprives the heirs of their hereditary shares. only one property is left for resolution in the present proceedings. Where co-ownership is confirmed by long. Camarines Sur.a parcel of residential/commercial land situated in the poblacion of Nabua. 1. Nevertheless. then the adjudication of these matters became final. the question to be resolved in this case is who owns the disputed property? The Court's Ruling The Petition has no merit.
Since the original Complaint was an action for partition. one of the original petitioners in this case.] and [having] been in [his] continuous. Adolfo Ocampo declared his "exclusive ownership" of the property. 1948.19 Likewise. In insisting that it was so transferred and thus co-owned. and that Fidela had entered the property. According to them. Fidela had executed it in favor of her sister Apolonia Ocampo. in this Deed of Absolute Sale. executed between Adolfo Ocampo as seller and Felix Ocampo as buyer. It would be premature to effect a partition thereof until and unless the question of ownership is first definitely resolved. Belen also presented a Real Estate Mortgage23 executed by the former as absolute owner. the former rely on the Acknowledgement of Co-ownership executed by Fidela. peaceful. Since the former failed to do so.15 Basic is the rule that the party making an allegation in a civil case has the burden of proving it by a preponderance of evidence. If indeed the land was the conjugal property of Spouses Ocampo. the former inherited it in common. because a co-owner may dispose only of one s interest in the ideal or abstract part of the undivided
. unless it first makes a determination as to the existence of a coownership. Petitioners.21 which named the former as owner in fee simple. First. Belen presented Transfer Certificate of Title No. presented absolutely no proof of ownership of their predecessors-in-interest. To prove further that Fidela had exercised dominion over the property. which they never contested. The document dated July 6. Ballecer.16 Petitioners chief evidence of co-ownership of the property in question is simply the Acknowledgement of Co-ownership executed by Fidela. a notary public. and exercised all powers of dominion over it to the exclusion of petitioners. Apolonia admitted and recognized Fidela as the true owner of the land in question. and a Declaration of Real Property.24 Co-ownership cannot be presumed even if only a portion of the property was mortgaged to Apolonia. then petitioners should have presented evidence to prove such ownership by their alleged predecessors-in-interest. On the other hand.13 This action will not lie if the claimant has no rightful interest in the subject property. Parties filing the action are in fact required by the Rules of Court14 to set forth in their complaint the nature and the extent of their title to the property. RT-4389 (983). both the trial and the appellate courts were correct in finding that this piece of documentary evidence could not prevail over the array of testimonial and documentary evidence that were adduced by respondents. the land in question was the conjugal property of their parents. in [the] concept of owner without any claim of other persons. Petitioners failed to trace the successive transfers of ownership of the questioned property that eventually led to them. Allegedly. this Court cannot order a division of the property. she presented a Deed of Absolute Sale of Residential Land. however. was signed in the presence of two witnesses and acknowledged before Juan B. this property had been sold to Fidela by Felix Ocampo for a valuable consideration. "having been acquired by purchase[. actually occupied it.whose deaths passed it on to the children. it was originally owned by their parents -Spouses Ocampo -. and that upon the latter s deaths.17 referring to the subject property.22 evidencing payment of real property taxes. the legal truism that the spring cannot rise higher than its source. Respondent Belen proved that on February 10. Belen correctly argues that in agreeing to be a mortgagee. who is now represented by her heirs. public. how then can they prove the transfer to them of ownership that has not been established in the first place? It is axiomatic that no one can transfer to another a right greater than that which one has. The theory of petitioners is completely demolished by this document. The Civil Code provides that an essential requisite of a contract of mortgage is that the mortgagor be the absolute owner of the thing mortgaged.12 The settlement of the issue of ownership is the first stage in an action for partition. As proofs of ownership of the property by Fidela. also by Fidela as owner. adverse and material possession for more than 50 years together with [his] predecessors in rights and interest.18 thus. their eldest sibling. As mentioned earlier. 1953. as will be expounded below. Belen clearly traced the basis of her alleged sole ownership of the property and presented preponderant proof of her claim."20 Second.
30 As correctly found by the trial court. so that. Belen then presented a Deed of Donation Inter Vivos27 executed on January 13. she had already donated all her properties to defendant Belen Ocampo-Barrito. The Deed of Donation. Fidela mortgaged a definite portion of the property and thus negated any acknowledgement of co-ownership. she had no more properties with which she can have an interest to declare against. Having filed an action involving property. Ocampo herself made a written acknowledgement for her co-ownership over all the properties disputed with plaintiffs in this case. they should have relied on the strength of their own title and not on the alleged weakness of respondents claim. On the other hand.28 Petitioners stubbornly rely on the Acknowledgement of Co-ownership allegedly executed by Fidela in favor of her siblings. A statement may be admissible as such a declaration if it complies with the following requisites: 1) the declarant is dead or unable to testify.assuming that its authenticity and due execution were proven -. however. all to the exclusion of petitioners. 2) it relates to a fact against the interest of the declarant."29 Petitioners argue that the Acknowledgement of Co-ownership may be considered as a declaration against interest. between herself as donee and Fidela as donor.32 It is quite surprising that despite the process of transfers and titling of the subject property -. Belen presented Transfer Certificate of Title No. Fidela could not have acknowledged co-ownership. on 13 January 1984. 1365431 as proof of her ownership of the property. as owner. We are not unmindful of our ruling that the mere issuance of a certificate of title does not foreclose the possibility that the real property may be under co-ownership with persons not named therein.thing co-owned with others.commencing in 1948 and eventually leading to the sole ownership of Belen in 198433 -it was only after 1984 that petitioners started asserting their claim of co-ownership thereof. since her right over the property had already been extinguished by the prior act of donation. petitioners could not show any title.the property had already been donated to Belen. which enjoys a legal presumption of regularity of issuance.26 In this case. as she had no more property against which she had an interest to declare. which is the prior document.25 The effect of a mortgage by a co-owner shall be limited to the portion that may be allotted to that person upon the termination of the coownership. is clearly inconsistent with the document relied upon by petitioners. Belen offered as evidence the Tax Declaration35 indicating that she. the declarant was aware that it was contrary to his or her interest. tax receipt or document to prove their ownership. had been paying real estate taxes on the property.34 But given the circumstances of this case. What they overlook is the fact that at the time of the execution of the Acknowledgement -. and 4) the declarant had no motive to falsify and believed the declaration to be true. In addition to the TCT presented. 1984. more than a bare allegation is required to defeat the face value of respondent s TCT. Third. the same cannot be considered as a declaration against Fidela s interest since the alleged acknowledgement was written and executed on 24 December 1985 when she was no longer the owner of the property as the year previous. Hence. Again. Thus.36
. To be sure. A donation as a mode of acquiring ownership results in an effective transfer of title to the property from the donor to the donee. Belen clearly traced the source of her sole ownership of the property in question and thereby foreclosed the unproven and unsubstantiated allegation of co-ownership thereof. in effect. This act shows the immediate source of the former s claim of sole ownership of the property. We agree with the RTC s ratiocination: "On the claim of plaintiffs that defendant Fidela Ll. we stress. Finally. the Acknowledgement of Co-ownership could not be a fact against the interest of the declarant. the claim of co-ownership by petitioners has no leg to stand on. 3) at the time of the declaration. the best proof of ownership of the land is the Certificate of Title (TCT). at the time of the declaration.
the Trial Court postulated -The engravings on the house ONIANG OCAMPO BLDG. the property is of common ownership. much less on those of interested parties.the claim of custom becomes immaterial. Having shown that the property in question was originally owned by one Adolfo Ocampo -. one of the children of the spouses Chino Jose and Juana) engraved in the house or building.1-15-61 cannot serve as evidence that the property is of common ownership. some such fact can only work to the prejudice of herein appellants.42 At any rate. As mentioned earlier. there could not have been any difficulty to engrave thereon HEIRS OF JOSE OCAMPO and JUANA LLANDER-OCAMPO -. The fact that Fidela was not presented in court will not necessarily favor petitioners and prove that the property in question is indeed co-owned. and even put up businesses on the property. it is susceptible of various meanings. does not prove communal ownership of the properties in question.Luisa Ocampo-Llorin and Melita Ocampo. If. or that she got married on that date. They clearly overlook the nature of a donation. fraternal affection could have been a good motive that impelled either Belen or Fidela to allow petitioners to use the property. Petitioners also question the motives of Fidela for donating her properties. co-ownership among the parties cannot be presumed. And even assuming ex gratia argumenti. that the said engraving proved ownership over the disputed building. Adverting to this piece of evidence. or that she was celebrating a special event on the date mentioned. indeed. the law provides that
. self-serving as they are. The ancient photograph showing the spouses Chino Jose and Juana Llander Ocampo together with their ten children. -.1-15-61 instead of ONIANG OCAMPO BLDG. Their testimonies cannot prevail over the array of documents presented by Belen. Donation is an act of liberality whereby a person gratuitously disposes of a thing or a right in favor of another who accepts it.39 But since respondents were confident in the documents they presented in court. In contrast to the failure of petitioners to prove that such custom existed and was practiced in that place. If they felt that her testimony would prove their cause. The appellate court correctly found that since the litigants in this case were blood relatives. this can only establish the fact that said building was constructed for a certain Oniang on 15 January 1961.Petitioners assert that their claim of co-ownership of the property was sufficiently proved by their witnesses -.41 A donation may in fact comprehend the entire property of the donor. lived. A claim of ownership cannot be based simply on the testimonies of witnesses. from whom petitioners derive their right -. we affirm the CA s disposition showing the flimsiness of their claim as follows: "The other piece of documentary evidence presented by appellants really proved nothing. a donation is final. simply proved that there was such a picture taking of the spouses with their children. then they could have easily called her as an adverse or a hostile witness. however. At best.38 Belen presented evidence that clearly negated any claim of ownership by the former s predecessors-in-interest. Without any proof. a communal property of the children of the late spouses Chino Jose and Juana. neither does it prove that the said properties were indeed owned by the spouses Chino Jose and Juana Ocampo. with the implicit understanding that ownership thereof would later revert to the siblings. they did not see any need to call her as a witness.1-15-61. We disagree."37 Neither can we accept petitioners contention that co-ownership is shown by the fact that some of the children of Spouses Ocampo stayed. But the photograph does not prove communal ownership by appellants over the disputed parcels of land. -. By the same token. therefore. that custom consisted of placing properties of parents in the name of the eldest unmarried son or daughter. when she is still alive and needs money in her old age. At most. or that she even died on the date mentioned.1-15-61 (or Apolonia Ocampo.40 Once perfected. like: that of Oniang Ocampo was born on 1-15-61. absent any legal ground therefor. Why? Because it would mean that only Oniang (or Apolonia) was the owner of the building and that the building is not. and then later on transferred to and commonly owned by their children. As to the photographs presented by petitioners to bolster their claim of co-ownership. Neither are we persuaded by the contention that Spouses Ocampo placed the subject property in the name of only one person in accordance with a Chinese custom.not by Spouses Ocampo. the picture exhibited by appellant showing the name Oniang Ocampo -. its revocation or rescission cannot be effected.
we agree with the CA in eliminating the awards for damages and attorney s fees for respondents failure to show any factual. they should rely on the strength of their own title. Never was there any intimation that she had either been coerced or defrauded into entering into it. they assert that she would not have disposed of her property. without any reservation of sufficient means for themselves. the Petition is hereby DENIED. It should be clear that the law protects donors by providing that. Moreover. The question of why the land was registered several years after the donation is purely speculative. The trial court correctly explained thus: "This Court from the outset had the opportunity to see and hear the tell-tale [signs] of truthfulness or perjury like the flush of face. Again. or the dart of eyes. It is a settled doctrine that in a civil case. vs.especially when affirmed by the Court of Appeals. the donation shall be reduced upon the petition of any person affected."48 Finally. Petitioners also question Fidela s filing of an unlawful detainer suit after the date of the Deed of Donation.donors should reserve. at the time of the acceptance of the donation.have been satisfied.47 From the records of the present case. not on the alleged weakness of the claim of respondents. they argue that it was not hers alone anyway.43 In questioning the motives of Fidela for donating the subject property. petitioners arguments all pertain to circumstances extraneous to the Deed of Donation itself. are by law entitled to be supported by them. the final resolution of this case entails the review of factual findings of the courts below. which formed the basis of Belen s claim and led to the registration of the property in her name. no cogent evidence appears that would impel us to apply the above doctrine differently.
PERSHING TAN QUETO. Petitioner.44 To be sure. As all the essential elements of a donation -. we remind petitioners that because this action involves property.45 Petitioners did not question the consent of Fidela to the donation.consent. Usually. On the one hand. At any rate. What is important is that there was a duly proven Deed of Donation. the preponderance of evidence is with defendants whose testimonial evidences are buttressed by their documentary evidences. COURT OF APPEALS. since she would need it in her old age. and there can be. and the assailed Decision AFFIRMED. petitioners are contradicting even themselves. if supported by clear and convincing evidence on record. no evidence of such terms other than the contents of the written agreement. The law is clear that when its terms have been reduced to writing. the Supreme Court does not review those findings -. on the other.49 WHEREFORE. the burden of proof of the claim of coownership rests on the former. The courts below have not overlooked essential facts that. Respondents. or the fearful pause [--] and finds that credibility is with the defendants [herein respondents]. an agreement must be presumed to contain all the terms agreed upon. SO ORDERED. Moreover. in full ownership or in usufruct. legal or equitable bases therefor. between the parties and their successors in interest. we see no reason to entertain any doubt about the Deed pertaining thereto. JUAN POMBUENA and RESTITUTA TACALINAR GUANGCO DE POMBUENA. Costs against petitioners. sufficient means for their own support and that of all their relatives who. subject matter and cause46 -.
. as in this case. may produce a different outcome. or the tone of voice. if considered. final and conclusive are the factual findings of the trial court.
This is a Motion for Reconsideration of the decision dated May 16,1983 of this Court * in the above-entitled case, asking for the reversal of said decision on the following grounds: 1. Decison erred in disregarding the fact that Lot No. 304-B was registered in the name of the husband, Juan Pombuena, as per OCT. No. 0-1160 issued pursuant to the November 22, 1938 Decision (Exhibit 3) of the Cadastral Court in Cadastral Case No. 12, G.L.R.O. Cad. Rec. No. 1638, and that petitioner had the right to rely on said OCT; 2. The Decision erred in misinterpreting the admission in the Answer of petitioner to the complaint in the unlawful detainer Case No. 448 (City Court of Ozamiz City) as his admission that Lot 304-B is the paraphernal property of the wife, Restituta Tacalinar; 3. The Decision erred in reforming the Contract of Sale (Exh. B) of Lot 304-B from Basilides Tacalinar (mother) to the respondent, Restituta Tacalinar Guangco de Pombuena, from a sale to a conveyance of the share of the wife Restituta Tacalinar (daughter) in the future hereditary estate of her parents; 4. The Decision erred in over-looking that the barter agreement is an onerous contract of exchange, whereby private respondents-spouses received valuable consideration, concessions and other benefits therefor and in concluding that 'the barter agreement has no effect; 5. The Decision erred in disregarding the fact that petitioner constructed his concrete building on Lot No. 304-B in good faith relying OCT No. 0-1160, after the dismissal of the ejectment case and only after the execution of said barter agreement; 6. The Decision erred in confusing the conclusion of law that petitioner is a builder in bad faith with a finding of fact. The rule is that questions of law are reviewable on appeal or by certiorari. Moreover, the rule on finding of fact is subject to well-settled exceptions. (pp. 257-258, Rollo) It wig be recalled that the undisputed relevant facts indicate: (1) that Restituta Tacalinar Guanaco de Pombuena (RESTITUTA, for short) received the questioned lot (no. 304-B), of the Cadastre Survey of the Municipality of Centro, Mizamis Occidental, either as a purported donation or by way of purchase on (February 11, 1927) (with P50.00) as the alleged consideration thereof; (2) (3) (4) that the transaction took place during her mother's lifetime, her father having predeceased the mother; that the donation or sale was consummated while RESTITUTA was already married to her husband Juan Pombuena (JUAN, for short); that on January 22, 1935, JUAN filed for himself and his supposed co-owner RESTITUTA an application for a Torrens Title over the land;
(5) that under date of November 22, 1938 a decision was promulgated in GLRC No. 1638 (Cadastral Case No. 12) pronouncing JUAN ('married to RESTITUTA') as the owner of the land; (6) that on September 22, 1949 a contract of lease over the lot was entered into between Pershing Tan Queto (TAN QUETO, for short, the herein petitioner) and RESTITUTA (with the consent of her husband JUAN) for a period of ten (10) years; (7) that on December 27, 1960 RESTITUTA sued TAN QUETO for unlawful detainer (the lease contract having expired) before the Municipal Court of Ozamis City;
that as a consequence of the cadastral case, an Original Certificate of Title (Exh. 10) was issued in JUAN's name ("married to RESTITUTA") on April 22, 1962;
(9) that the unlawful detainer case was won by the spouses in the Municipal Court; but on appeal in the Court of First Instance, the entire case was DISMISSED because of an understanding (barter) whereby TAN QUETO became the owner of the disputed lot, and the spouses RESTITUTA and JUAN in turn became the owners of a parcel of land (with the house constructed thereon) previously owned (that is, before the barter) by TAN QUETO; (10) that after the barter agreement dated October 10, 1962 between JUAN and TAN QUETO, the latter constructed (See p. 257, Rollo, Vol. II) on the disputed land a concrete building, without any objection on the part of RESTITUTA; (11) that later, RESTITUTA sued both JUAN and TAN QUETO for reconveyance of the title over the registered but disputed lot, for annulment of the barter, and for recovery of the land with damages. The two principal issues are clearly the following: (1) Is the questioned lot paraphernal or conjugal?
(2) In having constructed the building on the lot, should TAN QUETO be regarded as a builder in good faith (and hence entitled to reimbursement) or a builder in bad faith (with no right to reimbursement)? The finding by both the Court of First Instance and the Court of Appeals that the disputed lot is paraphernal and that TAN QUETO is a builder in bad faith were regarded by Us in Our assailed decision as findings of facts and thus ordinarily conclusive on Us. Assuming they are factual findings, still if they are erroneous inferences from certain facts, they cannot bind this Court. A second hard look at the circumstances of the case has constrained Us to rule as follows: (1) The land is conjugal, not paraphernal. How was ownership transferred, if at all, from her mother to RESTITUTA? The oral donation of the lot cannot be a valid donation interviews because it was not executed in a public instrument (Art. 749, Civil Code), nor as a valid donation mortis causa for the formalities of a will were not complied with. The allegation that the transfer was a conveyance to RESTITUTA of her hereditary share in the estate of her mother (or parents) cannot be sustained for the contractual transmission of future inheritance is generally prohibited. The fact is ownership was acquired by both JUAN and RESTITUTA by tradition (delivery) as a consequence of the contract of sale (See Art. 712, Civil Code) with P50.00 (then a considerable amount) as the cause or consideration of the transaction. The lot is therefore conjugal, having been acquired by the spouses thru onerous title (the money used being presumably conjugal there being no proof that RESTITUTA had paraphernal funds of her own). The contention that the sale was fictitious or simulated (and therefore void) is bankrupt. Firstly, there was a valid consideration therefor. Secondly, assuming that there had indeed been a simulation, the parties thereto cannot use said simulation to prejudice a stranger to said stratagem (like petitioner herein). One nagging question has been posed. But did not TAN QUETO admit in his Answer that RESTITUTA was the owner of the lot. This is not so. He admitted RESTITUTA was an owner" (not the owner) of the lot, and this is true, for she was a co-owner (with JUAN, and therefore "an owner. " Surely, there is no admission of RESTITUTA's exclusive ownership. And yet this is the basis of the trial court's conclusion that the lot was indeed paraphernal.
Was Tan Queto a possessor and builder in good faith or in bad faith?
Even assuming that despite registration of the lot as conjugal, Tan Queto nursed the belief that the lot was actually RESTITUTA's (making him in bad faith), still RESTITUTA's failure to prohibit him from building despite her knowledge that construction was actually being done, makes her also in bad faith. The net resultant of mutual bad faith would entitle TAN QUETO to the rights of a builder in good faith (Art. 448, Civil Code), ergo, reimbursement should be given him if RESTITUTA decides to appropriate the building for herself (Art. 448, Civil Code). However, as already previously intimated, TAN QUETO having bartered his own lot and small house with the questioned lot with JUAN (who has been adverted to by a court decision and by the OCT a conjugal owner) may be said to be the OWNER-POSSESSOR of the lot. Certainly he is not merely a possessor or builder in good faith (this phrase presupposes ownership in another); much less is he a builder in bad faith. He is a builder-possessor jus possidendi because he is the OWNER himself. Please note that the Chapter on Possession (jus possesionis, not jus possidendi) in the Civil Code refers to a possessor other than the owner. Please note further that the difference between a builder (or possessor) in good faith and one in bad faith is that the former is NOT AWARE of the defect or flaw in his title or mode of acquisition while the latter is AWARE of such defect or flaw (Art. 526, Civil Code). But in either case there is a flaw or defect. In the case of TAN QUETO there is no such flaw or defect because it is he himself (not somebody else) who is the owner of the property. WHEREFORE, Our decision promulgated on May 16,1983 is hereby SET ASIDE, and a new one is hereby rendered declaring the questioned lot together with the building thereone, as TAN QUETO's exclusive property. No costs.. SO ORDERED.
TITO R. LAGAZO, Petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and ALFREDO CABANLIT, Respondents.
2. located at 3320 2nd St. Mapa. 1977. Block 6 of Psd-135834. to surrender to plaintiff possession of the premises known as Lot 8w. valid and subsisting? Where.00) Pesos.10-square meter lot which is a portion of the Monserrat Estate.000. Defendant-appellant [herein private respondent].Where the acceptance of a donation was made in a separate instrument but not formally communicated to the donor. may the donation be deemed onerous and thus governed by the law on ordinary contracts? The Case The Court answers these questions in the negative as it resolves this petition for review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court seeking to set aside the Decision 1 of the Court of Appeals 2 in CA-GR CV No. he had already acquired the property by a Deed of Assignment from a transferee of plaintiff-appellee's grandmother. The assailed Decision reversed the Regional Trial Court. judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the plaintiff and against the defendant as follows: 1. Ordering the defendant to pay plaintiff the sum of Five Thousand (P5. put up the defense that when the alleged donation was executed. Simultaneous with the revocation.
The defendant's counterclaims are hereby dismissed. Mesa. Catalina Jacob executed another power of attorney of the same tenor in favor plaintiff-appellee. Mesa. The evidence for plaintiff-appellee [herein petitioner] is summarized as follows: Catalina Jacob Vda. de Reyes. V.a separate but the recipient actually paid charges imposed on the property like land taxes and installment arrearages. Manila. on the other hand.the expressed consideration being purely one of liberality and generosity . 5 We reproduce their narration from the assailed Decision: Civil Case No. or any person claiming rights under him. Catalina Jacob executed a special power of attorney (Exh. and the improvement standing thereon. Manila. Catalina Jacob constructed a house on the lot. 1984 (Exh. Catalina Jacob revoked said authority in an instrument executed in Canada on April 16. the deed of donation did not expressly impose any burden . Block 6. Due to the failure of Eduardo B. and Costs against the defendant. Psd-135534 of the Monserrat Estate. 1987 seeking to recover from defendant-appellant [a] parcel of land which the former claims to have acquired from his grandmother by donation. Old Sta. 38050 promulgated on November 29. located at 3320 2nd St. Español to accomplish the purpose of the power of attorney granted to him.
. The Facts Although the legal conclusions and dispositions of the trial and the appellate courts are conflicting. may the donation be nonetheless considered complete. On October 3. 1993. 83-39133 involves an action filed by plaintiff-appellee [herein petitioner] on January 22. Branch 30. "D"). Ordering the defendant. 3. V. as and for attorney's fees. Español authorizing him to execute all documents necessary for the final adjudication of her claim as awardee of the lot. "A") in favor of her son-in-law Eduardo B. or shortly before she left for Canada where she is now a permanent resident.. The Monserrat Estate is a public land owned by the City of Manila and distributed for sale to bona fide tenants under its land-for-the-landless program.. more particularly described as Lot 8W. in Civil Case No. 87-39133 which had disposed 3 of the controversy in favor of herein petitioner in the following manner: 4 WHEREFORE. a widow and grandmother of plaintiff-appellee. Mapa. the factual antecedents of the case are not substantially disputed. was awarded in July 1975 a 60. Manila. Old Sta.
"G-1". K. the lower court decided in favor of plaintiff-appellee and against defendant-appellant. 1982 (Exh. de Reyes. Jacob Vda. and Deed of Assignment executed by Eduardo B. 1980 (Exh. 1986 (Exh. 6 Ruling of the Appellate Court In reversing the trial court's decision. However. 2. "G". thus.On January 30. subject matter of the case. defendant-appellant refused to vacate the premises claiming ownership thereof. "F-1" and "F-2") and declared the said property in the name of Catalina Jacob (Exhs. Following the donation. "F". K-1). 8
. in stark contrast of [sic] the interest shown by the plaintiff who saw to it that the lot was removed from the delinquent list for non-payment of installments and taxes due thereto [sic]. "6"). Citing jurisprudence that the donee's failure to accept a donation whether in the same deed of donation or in a separate instrument renders the donation null and void.reasoning that the deed showed no burden. The version of the plaintiff is more credible than that of the defendant. Español covering the residential house located at the premises (Exh. unbelievably did not take any action to have the said house and lot be registered or had them declared in his own name.
Deed of Assignment over Lot 8W executed by Catalina Jacob in favor of Eduardo Español dated September 30. as both parties admitted that she had not come back to the Philippines since 1977. A similar letter was sent by plaintiff-appellee's counsel to defendant on September 11. plaintiff-appellee checked with the Register of Deeds and found out that the property was in the delinquent list. "H"). petitioner now seeks a favorable disposition from this Court. the payments made by petitioner were his voluntary acts. Defendant. (Exhs. the acknowledgement in Exhibit "5" shows that the assignor/awardee did not appear before the notary public. It may be noted that on said date. Even his Exhibit 7 was not mailed or served to the addressee. the real awardee of the lot in question. rationalizing that the version of the former is more credible than that of the latter. The defendant's theory is that he is the owner thereof because he bought the house and lot from Eduardo Español. Respondent Court denied petitioner's claim of ownership over the disputed land. charge or condition imposed upon the donee. He admitted that he signed the Deed of Assignment in favor of Eduardo Español on September 30. 1980. de Reyes signed [sic] it. plaintiff-appellee sent a demand letter to defendant-appellant asking him to vacate the premises (Exh. claiming to be the owner of the lot. The appellate court also struck down petitioner's contention that the formalities for a donation of real property should not apply to his case since it was an onerous one . On January 29. the original awardee of the lot was no longer in the Philippines. "5"). "G-2" and "G-3"). Dissatisfied with the foregoing ruling.he paid for the amortizations due on the land before and after the execution of the deed of donation . Such attitude and laxity is very unnatural for a buyer/owner of a property. Deed of Absolute Sale executed by Catalina Jacob dated October 7.
After trial. but did not see awardee Catalina Jacob Vda. 4 and 5. 1985. 7 Respondent Court of Appeals anchored its ruling upon the absence of any showing that petitioner accepted his grandmother's donation of the subject land. 3. "E"). after the latter had shown and given to him Exhibits 1. In fact. Español over Lot 8W and a residential house thereon in favor of defendant-appellant dated October 2. Catalina Jacob executed in Canada a Deed of Donation over a Lot 8W in favor of plaintiff-appellee (Exh. Hence.] it appears that the plaintiff. so that he paid the installments in arrears and the remaining balance on the lot (Exhs. "I"). The theory of the plaintiff is that the house and lot belong to him by virtue of the Deed of Donation in his favor executed by his grandmother Mrs. Opposing plaintiff-appellee's version. plaintiff-appellee instituted the complaint for recovery of possession and damages against defendant-appellant. 1977 in favor of Eduardo B. 1986.has a better right over the property. According to the lower court: From the oral and documentary evidence adduced by the parties[. "4"). defendant-appellant claimed that the house and lot in controversy were his by virtue of the following documents: 1.
although the deed did not categorically impose any charge. Even conceding that petitioner's full payment of the purchase price of the lot might have been a burden to him. 10 Under Article 733 of the Civil Code. and as an act of liberality and generosity and considering further that the DONEE is a grandson of the DONOR. This much can be gathered from his testimony in court. as provided under Art. the formalities required for a valid simple donation are not applicable. donations with an onerous cause shall be governed by the rules on contracts. while an onerous donation is one which is subject to burdens. in which he never even claimed that a burden or charge had been imposed by his grandmother. The words in the deed are in fact typical of a pure donation. the donation was onerous since he in fact and in reality paid for the installments in arrears and for the remaining balance of the lot in question. such payment was not however imposed by the donor as a condition for the donation. title and interest which the said DONOR has in the above described real property. Thus. Being an onerous donation. 1320 of the Civil Code. [II. charges or future services equal to or more in value than the thing donated. 11 [emphasis supplied] It is clear that the donor did not have any intention to burden or charge petitioner as the donee. not onerous. the DONOR hereby voluntarily and freely gives. together with all the buildings and improvements found therein. executors. 749 of the same code. administrators and assigns. Rather. certain fact and circumstances transpired in the meantime which would render said decision manifestly unjust. the Court of Appeals decided a question of substance in a way not in accord with the law and applicable decisions of this Honorable Court. burden or condition to be satisfied by him. unfair and inequitable to petitioner. A simple or pure donation is one whose cause is pure liberality (no strings attached). by way of donation unto said DONEE. Main Issue: Simple or Onerous Donation? At the outset. charges or conditions imposed upon a donation need not be stated on the deed of donation itself. transfer[s] and conveys. free from all lines [sic] and encumbrances and charges whatsoever. let us differentiate between a simple donation and an onerous one. We agree with Respondent Court that the payments made by petitioner were merely his voluntary acts. the deed explicitly stated: That for and in consideration of the love and affection which the DONEE inspires in the DONOR. Petitioner contends that the burdens. hence. His payment of the arrearages and balance and his assertion of his right of possession against private respondent clearly indicate his acceptance of the donation. his heirs.] Even granting the correctness of the decision of the Court of Appeals. We rule that the donation was simple.] In reversing the decision of the trial court.
. and need not comply with the formalities required by Art. We believe that the resolution of this case hinges on the issue of whether the donation was simple or onerous. all the right. his acceptance thereof may be express or implied. The Court's Ruling The petition lacks merit.Issues Petitioner anchors his petition on the following grounds: 9 [I.
the papers of my grandmother is [sic] includ[ed] in the dilinquent [sic] list. were you able to pay it? I was able to pay that. the . the amount in the City of Manila of the lot has already been duly paid. is it not? Yes. are you referring to the award in particular [of the] lot in favor of your grandmother? Yes. sir. What did you do then when you found out that the lot was includ[ed] in the dilinquent [sic] list? I talked to the person in charged [sic] in the office and I asked him what to do so that the lot should not [be] included in the dilinquent [sic] list. as of now. revocation of power of attorney and the Special Power of Attorney in your favor. What was the result of your verification? According to the person in the office. So. that I would pay the at least [sic] one half of the installment in order to take [out] the document [from] the delinquent list.ATTY FORONDA: q After you have received this [sic] documents. FORONDA: q And what was the anwer [sic] given to you to the inquiry which you made?
WITNESS: a q a q a q a q a According to the person in the office. I paid the [sic] one half of the balance since the time the lot was awarded to us. What about the remaining balance. sir. . When you say the award.
. Sir. And [were] you able to pay? I was able to pay. . what did you do?
WITNESS: a q a q a q a I went here in City Hall and verif[ied] the status of the award of my grandmother. one half of the balance or the entire amounts [sic]? First. What were you able to pay. sir.
Civil Code). the acceptance of a donation may be made at any time during the lifetime of the donor. 746. During the trial. the following provisions of the Civil Code are applicable: Art. The donation is perfected from the moment the donor knows of the acceptance by the donee. its absence makes the donation null and void. is perfected only upon the moment the donor knows of the acceptance by the donee. because arguments. her grandson. and this step shall be noted in both instruments. This is too late. . The acceptance may be made in the same deed of donation and in a separate public document. the donation is null and void. Tolentino in this wise: . is either not given to the donor or else not noted in the deed of donation and in the separate acceptance. and the fact that due notice has been given must be noted in both instruments (that containing the offer to donate and that showing the acceptance). But in this case it is necessary that formal notice thereof be given to the donor. or where the formal notice of the acceptance. causes of action and matters not raised in the trial court may no longer be raised on appeal. Art. 1990. Title to immovable property does not pass from the donor to the donee by virtue of a deed of donation until and unless it has been accepted in a public instrument and the donor duly notified thereof. the donor shall be notified thereof in an authentic form. evidence. and this step shall be noted in both instruments. If the acceptance does not appear in the same document. that he submitted an affidavit 19 dated August 28. made in a separate instrument. 734. In order that the donation of an immovable may be valid. And granting arguendo that such acceptance may still be admitted in evidence on appeal. 16 The perfection and the validity of a donation are well explained by former Sen. manifesting that he "wholeheartedly accepted" the lot given to him by his grandmother. therefore. Where the deed of donation fails to show the acceptance. it is sufficient if it shows the intention to accept. following the theory of cognition (Article 1319. indispensable. The acceptance may be made in the very same instrument of donation. "[i]f the acceptance is made in a separate instrument. . Nothing in the records shows that such acts were meant to be a burden in the donation. specifying therein the property donated and the value of the charges which the donee must satisfy. Solemn words are not necessary. authorizing him to execute acts necessary for the fulfillment of her obligations. Acceptance must be made during the lifetime of the donor and the donee. Then and only then is the donation perfected. Justice Jose C. when petitioner came before this Court. the donor shall be notified thereof in authentic form. 749. 17 Exhibit E (the deed of donation) does not show any indication that petitioner-donee accepted the gift. there is still need for proof that a formal notice of such acceptance was received by the donor and noted in both the deed of donation and the separate instrument
. The donation. 20
True. he did not present any instrument evidencing such acceptance despite the fact that private respondent already raised this allegation in his supplemental pleading 18 to which petitioner raised no objection.The payments even seem to have been made pursuant to the power of attorney 13 executed by Catalina Reyes in favor of petitioner." 15 Acceptance of the donation by the donee is. it must be made in another. In the words of the esteemed Mr." Furthermore. but it shall not take effect unless it is done during the lifetime of the donor. an agreement of the parties is essential. It was only after the Court of Appeals had rendered its decision. Arturo M. If the instrument of donation has been recorded in the registry of property. As a pure or simple donation. the instrument that shows the acceptance should also be recorded. it must be made in a public instrument. Art. Vitug. 14 "Like any other contract. Catalina Reyes. If the acceptance is made in a separate instrument.
it is on record that petitioner had required private respondent to vacate the subject premises before he instituted this complaint. it is stated that . [Menchu C. . right or interest. as the vendor. the subject lot cannot be adjudicated to him. This shows he was not in actual possession of the property. Further. they had to leave the place due to a road-widening project which reduced the house to "about three meters [in] length and one arm[']s width. The corresponding certificate of title 22 has also been issued in petitioner's name. Secondary Issue: Supervening Events Petitioner also contends that certain supervening events have transpired which render the assailed Decision "manifestly unjust. petitioner's grandmother. the same resolution states: WHEREAS. . . Furthermore. this document has no force and effect and. it is the former to which the Court is inclined to give more credence. This is the same document upon which petitioner. after which he and his family occupied the same.
Cabanlit's Claim of Ownership
." 25 Between the testimonies under oath of the contending parties and the report . . The investigator's report must have been based on the misrepresentations of petitioner who arrogated unto himself the prerogatives of both Español and private respondent.] Bello [. and petitioner. Eduardo Español had already been living in the same house and continued to do so until 1982. constructed on the lot is a make-shift structure used for residential purposes by the proposed transferee Tito Lagazo and his family.embodying the acceptance. Petitioner claimed the following: that the house constructed on the subject lot was owned by his grandmother Catalina Jacob. . as the vendee. 24 On the other hand. Special Investigator. Block 6. contrary to the report of the investigator.not subjected to cross-examination . and that private respondent occupied the premises after Español left. in a report submitted by Ms. A deed of sale 21 covering the subject lot has in fact been executed between the City of Manila.] on February 7. that before the latter left for Canada in 1977. . asserts his right over the lot. unfair and inequitable" to him. this last legal requisite of annotation in both instruments of donation and acceptance was not fulfilled by petitioner. directly contradictory to the testimonies in court of petitioner himself and of private respondent. private respondent testified that he bought the subject house and lot from Eduardo Español in 1982. passes no title. A close perusal of the city government's resolution 23 granting petitioner's request reveals that the request for and the grant of the transfer of the award were premised on the validity and perfection of the deed of donation executed by the original awardee. The City of Manila has granted his request for the transfer to his name of the lot originally awarded in favor of Catalina Reyes. The above findings of the investigator are. . At the very least. but sometime in 1985. For this reason. 1990. and the structure was extended backward covering a portion of the old temporary road lot. as earlier discussed and ruled. as against private respondent. . therefore. But. however. and that constructed at Lot 8. former Monserrat Estate is a make-shift structure used as a dwelling place by Lagazo and family because the front portion of their house which was constructed on a road lot was demolished.which was prepared by the investigator who recommended the approval of petitioner's request for transfer.
Verily. just and demandable claim that compelled him to litigate or to incur expenses in order to protect his interests by reason of an unjustified act or omission of private respondent. the petition is hereby DENIED and the assailed Decision is AFFIRMED. we are not ruling in this case on the rights and obligations between. and. Petitioner insists that the principal issue in the case. 27 WHEREFORE. the examination of the genuineness of the documents (deeds of assignment over the lot between Catalina Reyes and Eduardo Español and between Español and private respondent) upon which he asserts his right is necessary. but without prejudice to any action that Catalina Reyes or Eduardo Español or both may have against said private respondent." In disposing of the principal issue of the right of petitioner over the subject property under the deed of donation. petitioner cannot be awarded attorney's fees. In resolving private respondent's claim of ownership. Not having proven any right to a valid. The trial court should have dismissed his complaint for his failure to prove a right superior to that of private respondent. the parties thus resume their status quo ante. is "who between the parties is the owner of the house and lot in question. since petitioner. However. Stating this point otherwise. on the other. petitioner cannot be considered the lawful owner of the subject property. as agreed upon by the parties during pretrial. 26 Anyhow. Elementary norms of fair play and due process bar us from making any disposition which may affect their rights. Not having been impleaded in the trial court. there can be no valid judgment for or against them.Petitioner also assails Respondent Court's conclusion that it is unnecessary to pass upon private respondent's claim over the property. on the one hand. SO ORDERED. we arrive at one definite conclusion: on the basis of the alleged donation. This does not necessarily mean. that private respondent is automatically the rightful owner. her assigns and/or representatives. especially in light of petitioner's allegations of forgery. the respective assignors in both documents are not parties to the instant case.
. Catalina Reyes. Private Respondent Cabanlit. however. failed to prove with clear and convincing evidence his ownership claim over the subject property. who was the plaintiff below. they had no participation whatsoever in the proceedings at bar.
on the E. Petitioners. Province of Tayabas.. What is certain is that there is no affection now among the protagonists in this case. 1945. Perfecta died in 1945 leaving inter alia a tract of land consisting of about 28 hectares and covered by TCT No.. Tayabas Branch. who had a brother named Felipe Balane and a sister named Perfecta Balane de Cordero.. by properties of Andrea Fernandez and Silvestra Mereis on the SW. That whereas. That whereas. NYMIA SUTERIO and MARILYN SUTERIO. on the SE. the said Perfects Balane de Cordero. WITNESSETH: That whereas. Salud Suterio de Matias. containing an area of TWO HUNDRED EIGHTY FIVE THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED FIFTY-THREE SQUARE METERS (285. shall assume the said obligation to the Philippine National Bank. . by properties of Orilleneda Mariano... the said Felipe Balane and Juana Balane de Suterio are the only brother and sister respectively and forced heirs of Perfecta Balane de Cordero who dies intestate on January 21. deceased... Respondents. by and between Felipe Balane and Juana Balane de Suterio. left property described as follows: TRANSFER CERTIFICATE OF TITLE NO. On May 20. That whereas.00) to the Philippine National Bank. Tayabas Branch.. to whom this property is donated extra-judicially as agreed upon by both heirs. and on the NW. 4671. This is one of those distasteful litigations involving a controversy among close relatives over properties left by a common ascendant. the sapa Luctob and the sapa Patay.EUFEMIA PAJARILLO.. Plan Psu-12210). Bounded on the NE. by property by Andrea Fernandez. Philippines. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT. situated in the barrio of Luctol.
. Dionisio Fornea Placido Abistado and Adriano Abistado and the mangrove of the government. The mother was Juana Balane de Suterio. we Felipe Balane and Juana Balane de Suterio. JR.
This agreement made to 20th day of May.. . deceased.. 6-A. both of age and residents of Macalelon. the only heirs of the property described above left by the deceased Perfecta Balane de Cordero. That whereas. is not free from obligation or debt.. do hereby agree in carrying out the antemortem wish of our beloved deceased sister that in consideration of love and affection the property described above be donated to Salud Sutexio de Matias.000. CLAUDIO SUTERIO.353) more or less.. A parcel of land (Lot No. Juana and Felipe executed a public instrument entitled "Extra-judicial Settlement of the Estate of the Deceased Perfecta Balane de Cordero. . 1946. by Lot No. if at all. vs. the members of this small family were. . Glindro Maxima Orilleneda Placida Forcados and Basilio Rabe . THIRD CIVIL CASES DIVISION. The petitioners are the widow and children of the brother of the principal private respondent. The record does not show how close. 4671 in the Registry of Deeds of Quezon Province. . by properties of Felix Rodriguez. . 1946. She and her brother appear to be the only remaining issue of the mother who seems to have caused all the present confusion. with an buildings and improvements except those herein expressly noted as belonging to other person. 6-B. SALUD SUTERIO and PEDRO MATIAS." 1 In it they disposed of the said property as follows: EXTRA-JUDICIAL SETTLEMENT OF THE ESTATE OF DECEASED PERFECTA BALANE DE CORDERO. It has an incumbrance of about ONE THOUSAND PESOS (P1. the estate left by the said Perfecta Balane de Castro. Municipality of Macalelon. Tayabas.
) JUANA BALANE DE SUTERIO JUANA BALANE DE SUTERIO (Acknowledgment) On June 20. I have hereunto set my hand this 20th day of June. be given to me because of her love and affection for me. DE MATIAS. 1946.) FELIPE BALANE FELIPE BALANE
(Sgd. to the effect that the property described in the Deed of Donation. I. the only heirs to the properties of the late PERFECTA BALANE DE CORDERO.NOW. administrators and assign. 2 petitioner Eufemia Pajarillo was one of the witnesses: KNOW ALL MEN BY THESE PRESENTS: That on May 20. the only DONEE. executed a DEED OF DONATION in favor of the undersigned and the said donation was made. 1946. (Sgd. give. do hereby receive and accept this donation and further express my gratitude for the kindness and liberality of the DONORS. FELIPE BALANE and JUANA BALANE DE SUTERIO.) EUFEMIA P. THEREFORE. Salud Suterio executed the following public instrument. 1946. IN WITNESS WHEREOF. in accordance to the antemortem wish of my late aunt. we Felipe Balane and Juana Balane de Suterio have mutually agreed and covenanted to adjudicate. 1946. FELIPE BALANE and JUANA BALANE DE SUTERIO. Perfecta Balane de Cordero. executors. transfer and convey the property described above to Salud Suterio de Matias heirs.) SALUD SUTERIO DE MATIAS SUTERIO DE MATIAS Donee Signed in the presence of (Sgd. being her only niece. SUTERIO (Acknowledgment)
. SALUD SUTERIO. (Sgd. IN WITNESS WHEREOF. we have hereunto set our hands tills 20th day of May. And the donee does hereby accept this donation and does hereby express her gratitutde for the kindness and liberality of the donor.) SOFRONIO BALANE (Sgd. That.
Salud says that sometime in 1951.000.These instruments were never registered nor was title transferred in Salud's name although she says she immediately took possession of the land.
. Recognition of that donation would topple the props of their own contention that Juana could dispose of the property as its owner when she sold it to Claudio Suterio in 1956. but not the other two. 6 Two years later. Hence. the petitioners have the legal personality to challenge the validity of the donation on which Salud bases her claim to the property under litigation. there was no legal impediment to their doing so. Sr. 9 For their part. Juana executed a deed of absolute sale conveying the land to Claudio for the declared consideration of P12. 1965. She claimed that no compensation was actually paid by Claudio and that the transaction was deliberately concealed from her by her brother and the defendants. Judge Juan M. This appears to be too much nitpicking. 12 The respondent court is now sought to be reversed in this petition for certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. the defendants assailed the donation to Salud as legally inefficacious and defective and contended that her complaint was barred by prescription. Felipe and Juana had declared themselves the heirs of Perfecta and the owners of the property in question. We hold at the outset that. They also filed a counterclaim questioning the sale to Salud by her mother of another tract of land. 3 Salud interposed no objection to its inclusion nor did she oppose its subsequent adjudication to her mother Juana in the project of partition. in which they said they were entitled to share as Juana's heirs. that was not only the legal but also the moral thing to do. She faulted it as having been procured through fraud and improper influence on her sick and aged mother. In fact. That feeling would have provided the required consideration if Perfects herself had made the donation. The petitioners also assail the intrinsic validity of the extrajudical settlement and submit that it is not really a donation as conceptually understood in civil law. Their argument is that the real donor of the property was Perfecta. During the period they were occupying the land. the deceased sister. until her death.00. 32050 in the land records of Quezon Province. The defendants were required to reconvey the land to Salud Suterio even as their counterclaim was dismissed for lack of evidence. could no longer bestow the intended gift. 8 Salud (joined by her husband) alleged that she was unaware until later of the supposed sale of the land to Claudio. 1956. 5 On May 25. 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. On June 30. however.1979. estoppel and res judicata. intestate proceedings were instituted on the estate of Perfecta and the said land was among those included in the inventory of the properties belonging to the decedent. However. contrary to the ruling in the challenged decision. they were free to give the land to whomever they pleased and for whatever reason they saw fit. the decision was affirmed in toto. 1958. who was then staying with Claudio and his family. the donation either because they were not moved by the same sentiments Perfects had for her niece Salud.00 loan for which the land was mortgaged. It is not clear if the land was ever registered in Juana's name. On April 17.000. if they chose to respect Perfecta's wishes and carry out her intentions by donating the land to Salud. acceding to this request. on August 27. Claudio had the land registered in as name and was issued TCT No. if not sophistry. the private respondents filed a complaint for the reconveyance of the property on the ground that the deed of sale in favor of Claudio was fictitious and its registration in his name was null and void . 4 It has also not been controverted that Salud paid the P1. there is evidence that Juana confirmed the earlier donation of the land to Salud but requested that she be allowed to possess the same and enjoy its fruits. As defendants in the complaint for reconveyance. Felipe and Juana could not have made. As such. she transferred the possession of the land to her mother. who. they had every right to resist the plaintiffs' allegation that she was the owner of the subject property by virtue of the claimed donation. 7 Claudio died in 1961 and his mother in 1963. For their part. 11 On appeal. Claudio paid the realty taxes thereon . Meantime.
14 there was no evidence whatsoever that the claimed donations had been accepted. Notably. in the deed of gift or in a separate public writing." and not Perfecta. did not object to the adjudication of the land to Juana in the project of partition in 1951. Specifically. The extrajudicial settlement also reflects their own affection for Salud which constituted the valid consideration for their own act of liberality. There is no question that the donation was accepted in a separate public instrument and that it was duly communicated to the donors. 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. it is pointed out that she failed to register the deed of donation and its acceptance in 1946. The petitioners would also fault the private respondents for laches and argue that Salud's inaction in protection of her rights should bar her from asserting them at this late hour. That was in fact the reason for the separate instrument of acceptance signed by Salud a month later. This would be in keeping with the unmistakable language of the above-quoted provision. by separate public instrument. and as later acknowledged by Juana. a literal adherence to the requirement of the law might result not in justice to the parties but conversely a distortion of their intentions. but it shall produce no effect if not made during the lifetime of the donor. and this proceeding shall be noted in both instruments. There is nothing in either of the two instruments showing that "authentic notice" of the acceptance was made by Salud to Juana and Felipe. the Court cannot in conscience declare the donation ineffective because there is no notation in the extrajudicial settlement of the donee's acceptance. It would also disregard the clear reality of the acceptance of the donation as manifested in the separate instrument dated June 20. 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. did not protest the
. But what they do contend is that such acceptance was not "noted in both instruments. The same observation is made of Santos v. as stressed by Justice Villa-Real. As it was executed in 1946. in her acceptance of the donation. The purpose of the formal requirement is to insure that the acceptance of the donation is duly communicated to the donor. Verzosa. In Legasto v. 633. did not oppose the inclusion of the subject land in the inventory of Perfecta's properties submitted in the intestate proceedings in 1946. The cases cited by the parties in their respective memoranda are not really in point. However. If the acceptance is made. as required by the Civil Code. That would be placing too much stress on mere form over substance. In the case at bar. keeping the same for themselves. 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. The fact that they did not do this speaks well indeed of their integrity and their loyalty as well to their deceased sister.1946. Robledo. the applicable rule is Article 633 of the old Civil Code reading as follows: Art. Salud referred to 'the donors Felipe Balane and Juana Balane de Suterio. A strict interpretation of Article 633 can lead to no other conclusion than the annulment of the donation for being defective in form as urged by the petitioners. The acceptance may be made." the only signatories thereof were Felipe Balane and Juana Balane de Suterio. 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. Even the petitioners cannot deny this. It is also a policy of the Court to avoid such an intepretation. 15 where Justice Torres noted that the acceptance of the donation did not appear in the deed of donation or in any other instrument.There is no question that Felipe and Juana could have simply disregarded their sister's sentiments and decided not to donate the property to Salud." meaning the extrajudicial partition itself and the instrument of acceptance. That is perfectly true. authentic notice thereof shall be given the donor. we find that under the circumstances of the present case. 13 Given this significant evidence.
She did not distrust her mother. or even with a friend. who should avoid as much as possible the asperity and bitterness of litigation. when the sale was registered in 1958 and a new title to the land was issued to Claudio. As for her inaction against the deed of sale in favor of her brother Claudio. Salud felt safe because she had the extrajudicial settlement to rely on to prove that her mother and her uncle had donated the subject land to her. who was already 76 years old at the time. nor did her brother or any of the defendants. It is more so in the case of relatives. which has been described by this Court thus: An estoppel by laches arises from the negligence or omission to assert a right within a reasonable time. she did not immediatey take legal steps. she chose not to register the land in the meantime and to allow her mother to enjoy its fruits. and did not question its registration in his name in 1958. Salud did no less than what any dutiful daughter would have done under the circumstances. What was deferred was not its effectivity but only its enjoyment by Salud. In fact. in obedience to her mother's request. warranting a presumption that the party entitled to assert it either has abandoned it or declined to assert it. Moreover. never informed her about it. It is contended that all these acts constitute laches. Suits among brothers and sisters are especially painful to their parents. Salud must have thought many times about filing her complaint against her brother Claudio while her old mother was still alive. it was not difficult to comply with this request. as in the case at bar. to seek a non-judicial settlement through extra-legal measures before going to court. the land came from Juana herself. That is true. but not when the other person is a close relative. what would have been unseemly was her registering the land against her mother's request as if she had no confidence in her. it should be noted in the first place that she was not aware of it when it was executed in 1956. That is what Salud did when she repeatedly asked the petitioners for the return of the property albeit to no avail. Her mother. Even then. It was only later. it will be easy to understand the reason for the delay. Juana had herself acknowledged the donation when she was asked in whose name the property would be registered following the intestate proceedings. The donation became effective upon acceptance by Salud except that. If Salud did not protest the inclusion of the land in the inventory of Perfecta's properties and its subsequent adjudication to Juana in the intestate proceedings. as urged by the petitioners. To Salud. There was no reason to disobey her. which would otherwise have been unjustified.
. it was because she did not feel threatened by these acts. The problem with the petitioners' theory is that it would regard Juana and Salud as strangers when they are in fact mother and daughter. It is natural. She did not have to protect herself against her own mother. even among non-relatives. Secondly. Registration was not necessary to make the donation a binding commitment insofar as the donors and the donee were concerned. being a sister to Claudio. The petitioners stress that it took Salud all of seven years from the registration of the land in Claudios's name before she filed the complaint for reconveyance against them. There is nothing in this instrument to suggest that the donation was to take effect upon the death of the donors as to make it a donation mortis causa.sale of the land to Claudio Suterio in 1956. coming as it did from her own mother. that she started asking questions. To begin with. she requested her daughter not to register the land as long as she was still alive so she could enjoy its fruits until her death. But if one remembers that her brother died only in 1961 and her own mother only in 1963. Salud hesitated still even after her mother's death and took two more years before she finally filed her complaint against Claudio's wife and children. One may expect a person to be vigilant of his rights when dealing with an acquaintance or associate. at the age of 83. for reasons of their own. It was only when it became clear that amicable persuasion was not possible that she decided to sue the wife and children of her departed brother. Indeed.
The prescriptive period is reckoned from the issuance of the title which operates as a constructive notice. 22 The record shows that while the land was registered in the name of Claudio Suterio.. Juana herself was holding the land merely as a trustee of Salud. after ten years from the date of the sale. reading as follows: If the property is acquired through mistake or fraud. it occurred to the petitioners to question the transaction only when they were sued by the private respondents. 21 While actions to enforce a constructive trust prescribe in 10 years from registration of the property. Vda. The legal principle is that if the registration of the land is fraudulent and the person in whose name the land is registered thus holds it as a mere trustee. based upon a constructive or implied trust resulting from fraud. the petition is DENIED.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. of breach of trust. de Jacinto. considered a trustee of an implied trust for the benefit of the person from whom the property comes. in 1958. by force of law. private respondents' right commenced from actual discovery of petitioner's act of defraudation.. de Jacinto. The trial court sustained the contract for lack of sufficient evidence to invalidate it and was upheld by the respondent court. et al. the herein principal petitioner. The last issue raised by the petitioners. may be barred by prescription. the person obtaining it is. Interestingly.. WHEREFORE. absent a showing that it was reached arbitrarily. 19 Public policy demands that a person guilty of fraud or at least. An action for reconveyance of realty.
. the complaint for reconveyance was filed by the petitioners in 1965. the validity of the deed of sale executed by Juana Balane de Suterio on January 29. As we said in Vda. in favor of Salud Suterio. As we have held in many cases: Where the action is one for reconveyance based on constructive trust. Salud had every right to sue for the recovery of the land in the action for reconveyance against Claudio's heirs. having previously donated it to her daughter Salud. 23 need not detain us too long.1950. 18 When Claudio registered the land in his name knowing there was a flaw in his title. Sr. The petitioners do not insist on prescription as a bar to the action for reconveyance. whose acceptance of the donation was formally witnessed by hiw own wife. the real owner is entitled to file an action for reconveyance of the property within a period of ten years. who had transferred possession to her mother at the old woman's request. with costs against the petitioners. an implied trust was created in favor of Salud as the real owner of the property in accordance with Article 1456 of the Civil Code. or still within the ten-year prescriptive period. . v. As trustor. a ten-year period is allowed. et al. This is an even longer period than the nine years during which the petitioners say Salud Suterio was sleeping on her rights following the sale of her land to Claudio Suterio. viz. and understandably so. 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. We see no reason to disturb their factual finding. should not be allowed to use a Torrens title as a shield against the consequences of his own wrongdoing. It is so ordered.
.). SONIA NATIVIDAD and ENCARNACION CABATINGAN VDA. a portion of a parcel of land in Masbate (50. 1997 in favor of respondents.  On respondents motion. A-1 . Cebu (307 sq. and JULIA L. and. MAN-2599.000 sq. 806 of the New Civil Code. caused the execution of the deeds of donation. m. through their sinister machinations and strategies and taking advantage of Conchita Cabatingan s fragile condition. two (2) parcels of land . seeking the annulment of said four (4) deeds of donation executed on January 14. Conchita Cabatingan executed in favor of her brother. Cebu.). PROVIDED. inter alia. These deeds of donation contain similar provisions. ESTRELLA M. and. ABELLA. x x x the DONOR does hereby. Liloan. RICHIE NATIVIDAD. vs. m. with the following dispositive portion: WHEREREFORE. docketed as Civil Case No. by these presents. MAYOL. together with petitioner Nicolas Cabatingan. considering that these are donations mortis causa. to become effective upon the death of the DONOR. RAYMUND NATIVIDAD. Posed for resolution before the Court in this petition for review on certiorari filed under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court is the sole issue of whether the donations made by the late Conchita Cabatingan are donations inter vivos or mortis causa. bestowing upon: (a) petitioner Estela C. convey. Maglasang. an action for Annulment And/Or Declaration of Nullity of Deeds of Donations and Accounting.). Conchita Cabatingan died. petitioners. Cabatingan. OLGA NATIVIDAD. m. BOQUIA. and (c) petitioner Merly S. 1995. unto the DONEE the above-described property. that petitioners. to wit: That for and in consideration of the love and affection of the DONOR for the DONEE. LUZ M. Branch 55. DE TRINIDAD. respondents. judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the plaintiffs and against the defendant and unwilling co-plaintiff with regards (sic) to the four Deeds of Donation Annexes A . OSCAR C. that in the event that the DONEE should die before the DONOR. 1995. ALFREDO CABATINGAN and JESUSA C. PERLA M. deny respondents allegations contending that Conchita Cabatingan freely.) and the other. Four (4) other deeds of donation were subsequently executed by Conchita Cabatingan on January 14. The facts of the case are as follows: On February 17. RICHARD NATIVIDAD. respondents filed with the Regional Trial Court of Mandaue. OPHELIA NATIVIDAD. the court a quo rendered a partial judgment on the pleadings on December 2. 1992. knowingly and voluntarily caused the preparation of the instruments.one located in Cogon. Respondents prayed that a receiver be appointed in order to preserve the disputed properties. (b) petitioner Nicolas Cabatingan. ODETTE NATIVIDAD. THE HEIRS OF CORAZON CABATINGAN. CABATINGAN. namely. Petitioners in their Amended Answer. HOWEVER.MA. ESTELA MAGLASANG. that they be declared as co-owners of the properties in equal shares. CAÑETE. x x x  (Emphasis Ours) On May 9. B and Annex C which is the subject of this partial decision by: Declaring the four Deeds of Donation as null and void ab initio for being a donation Mortis Causa and for failure to comply with formal and solemn requisite under Art. together with the buildings and all improvements existing thereon. Upon learning of the existence of the foregoing donations. m.232 sq. NAVADA. a portion of the Masbate property (80. petitioner Nicolas Cabatingan. 1995. NICOLAS CABATINGAN and MERLY S. the present donation shall be deemed automatically rescinded and of no further force and effect. NATIVIDAD. a portion of a parcel of land located in Masbate (80. a Deed of Conditional of Donation (sic) Inter Vivos for House and Lot covering one-half (½) portion of the former s house and lot located at Cot-cot. HEIRS OF GENOVIVA C. that the documents are void for failing to comply with the provisions of the Civil Code regarding formalities of wills and testaments. LOURDES M. Respondents allege.000 sq. and in consideration of all the foregoing. NATIVIDAD namely. YUSON. transfer. by way of donation.
petitioners elevated the court a quo s decision to this Court. INSTEAD. In a donation mortis causa. ad nutum. Petitioners themselves expressly confirmed the donations as mortis causa in the following Acceptance and Attestation clauses.  The court a quo ruled that the donations are donations mortis causa and therefore the four (4) deeds in question executed on January 14. 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. Raising questions of law. (2) That before his death. and there is nothing in the deeds which indicate that the donations were made in consideration of Cabatingan s death. uniformly found in the subject deeds of donation. 777 of the New Civil Code. the right of disposition is not transferred to the donee while the donor is still alive. that the transferor should retain the ownership (full or naked) and control of the property while alive.  In determining whether a donation is one of mortis causa. xxx SIGNED by the above-named DONOR and DONEE at the foot of this Deed of Donation mortis causa. PROCEEDED TO INTERPRET THE DONATIONS IN QUESTION IN A MANNER CONTRARY THERETO. and (3) That the transfer should be void if the transferor should survive the transferee. to wit: That the DONEE does hereby accept the foregoing donation mortis causa under the terms and conditions set forth therein. 1995 are null and void for failure to comply with the requisites of Article 806 of the Civil Code on solemnities of wills and testaments.  Petitioners insist that the donations are inter vivos donations as these were made by the late Conchita Cabatingan in consideration of the love and affection of the donor for the donee. as mandated under Art. In addition. alleging that: THE LOWER COURT PALPABLY DISREGARDED THE LONG-AND-WELL-ESTABLISHED RULINGS OF THIS HONORABLE SUPREME COURT ON THE CHARACTERIZATION OF DONATIONS AS INTER VIVOS OR MORTIS CAUSA AND.b) To declare the plaintiffs and defendants as well as unwilling co-plaintiff as the heirs of the deceased Conchita Cabatingan and therefore hereditary co-owners of the properties subject of this partial decision. 
. SO ORDERED. but revocability may be provided for indirectly by means of a reserved power in the donor to dispose of the properties conveyed. which consists of two (2) pages x x x. the transfer should be revocable by the transferor at will. the following characteristics must be taken into account: (1) It conveys no title or ownership to the transferee before the death of the transferor. 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. or what amounts to the same thing. and avail herself of this occasion to express her profound gratitude for the kindness and generosity of the DONOR. Petitioners arguments are bereft of merit. petitioners contend that the stipulation on rescission in case petitioners die ahead of Cabatingan is a resolutory condition that confirms the nature of the donation as inter vivos.
to wit: ART. de Meimban. We held in Meimban case that the donation is a mortis causa donation. Geraldez (78 SCRA 245. Court of Appeals. and that the above quoted provision establishes the donor s intention to transfer the ownership and possession of the donated property to the donee only after the former s death. Every 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. her heirs and assigns a portion of ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND (100. If the donation is made in contemplation of the donor s death. and the fact that the testator signed the will and every page thereof.  In said case. shall also sign. 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.253). Considering that the disputed donations are donations mortis causa. 1 and 2. and by his express direction. with all the buildings and improvements thereon. (The portion herein donated is within Lot 2-B of the proposed amendment Plan Subdivision of Lots Nos. v. on the southeastern part Pro-indiviso of the above described property. the questioned donation contained the provision: "That for and in consideration of the love and affection which the DONOR has for the DONEE. on the left margin. and convey unto the DONEE. or caused some other person to write his name. meaning that the full or naked ownership of the donated properties will pass to the donee because of the donor s death. 805. the same partake of the nature of testamentary provisions and as such. This is exactly what Cabatingan provided for in her donations.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. 481). and attested and subscribed by three or more credible witnesses in the presence of the testator and of one another. (n)
. As stated in Reyes v. except the last. she would have not expressed such proviso in the subject deeds. and all the pages shall be numbered correlatively in letters placed on the upper part of each page. Vda. The testator or the person requested by him to write his name and the instrumental witnesses of the will. and it is a donation mortis causa which should be embodied in a last will and testament. The attestation shall state the number of pages used upon which the will is written . the said Donor by these presents does hereby give.)"  Notably.  We apply the above rulings to the present case. as aforesaid. If the attestation clause is in a language not known to the witnesses. then it is at that time that the donation takes effect. to become effective upon the death of the DONOR. 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.  Well in point is National Treasurer of the Phils. Psu-109393). other than a holographic will. it shall be interpreted to them. each and every page thereof. 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. in the presence of the instrumental witnesses. the foregoing provision is similar to that contained in the donation executed by Cabatingan. The herein subject deeds expressly provide that the donation shall be rescinded in case petitioners predecease Conchita Cabatingan. Mosqueda. (italics supplied. under his express direction. the donation is void and would produce no effect. and that the latter witnessed and signed the will and all the pages thereof in the presence of the testator and of one another. the formalities of a will should have been complied with under Article 728 of the Civil Code. (Citing Bonsato v. otherwise. Further: As the donation is in the nature of a mortis causa disposition. and not by reason of her death. As we have held in Alejandro v. 95 Phil. transfer.000) SQUARE METERS.
806. the petition is hereby DENIED for lack of merit.
. (n) The deeds in question although acknowledged before a notary public of the donor and the donee. the trial court did not commit any reversible error in declaring the subject deeds of donation null and void.ART. The notary public shall not be required to retain a copy of the will. Every will must be acknowledged before a notary public by the testator and the witnesses. SO ORDERED. or file another with the office of the Clerk of Court. the documents were not executed in the manner provided for under the above-quoted provisions of law. Thus. WHEREFORE.
The complaint alleged that the Deed of Donation executed by Celestina in favor of Ursulina was void for lack of acknowledgment by the attesting witnesses thereto before notary public Atty. METODIO GANUELAS and ANTONIO GANUELAS. ROBERT T. 18111. 18109. et al. she refused to give private respondents any share in the produce of the properties despite repeated demands. Celestina Ganuelas Vda. Ursulina had been sharing the produce of the donated properties with private respondents Leocadia G.
. unto the DONEE the property above. in Civil Case No. and the donation was a disposition mortis causa which failed to comply with the provisions of the Civil Code regarding formalities of wills and testaments. over the donated properties. the partition of the properties among the intestate heirs of Celestina. They likewise prayed for the cancellation of the tax declarations secured in the name of Ursulina. Private respondents were thus prompted to file on May 26. an action for declaration of nullity of a deed of donation. as culled from the records of the case. for and in consideration of the love and affection which the DONOR has for the DONEE. but in the event that the DONEE should die before the DONOR. 18110. and since then. The pertinent provision of the deed of donation reads. vs. hence. AGTARAP. Celestina executed a document denominated as Revocation of Donation purporting to set aside the deed of donation. 1996 decision of the Regional Trial Court of San Fernando. After Celestina s death. and of the faithful services the latter has rendered in the past to the former. to become effective upon the death of the DONOR. Judge of the Regional Trial Court of San Fernando. nieces of Celestina. CORAZON G. HON. one of herein petitioners. 1967. The facts. FLORES. More than a month later or on August 18. 18108. FELICITACION G. SIPALAY and ESTATE OF ROMANA GANUELAS DE LA ROSA. Celestina died without issue and any surviving ascendants and siblings. The plaintiffs-herein private respondents thus prayed that judgment be rendered ordering Ursulina to return to them as intestate heirs the possession and ownership of the properties. along with Metodio Ganuelas and Antonio Ganuelas who were alleged to be unwilling plaintiffs.URSULINA GANUELAS. CAWED. 1967. respondent. In 1982. 3947. it was void. represented by GREGORIO DELA ROSA. or twenty-four years after the execution of the Deed of Donation.. de Valin (Celestina) executed a Deed of Donation of Real Property covering seven parcels of land in favor of her niece Ursulina Ganuelas (Ursulina). and the rendering by Ursulina of an accounting of all the fruits of the properties since 1982 and for her to return or pay the value of their shares. in her name. La Union. 1986 with the RTC of San Fernando. Administrator. the present donation shall be deemed rescinded and of no further force and effect. the February 22. the said DONOR does by these presents transfer and convey. La Union (Branch 29). x x x. LEOCADIA G. 18112. on a question of law. by way of DONATION. are as follows: On April 11. quoted verbatim: xxx That. La Union a complaint against Ursulina. Branch 29. 18113 and 18114. to wit: Tax Declarations Nos. Henry Valmonte. On June 10. The present petition for review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court assails. Flores. 1958. Ursulina secured the corresponding tax declarations. described.
the deed did not have to comply with the requirements for the execution of a valid will. that the provision on the effectivity of the donation after the donor s death simply meant that absolute ownership would pertain to the donee on the donor s death. II. WHEN IT DECLARED NULL AND VOID THE DONATION EXECUTED BY CELESTINA GANUELAS.
Petitioners argue that the donation contained in the deed is inter vivos as the main consideration for its execution was the donor s affection for the donee rather than the donor s death. . On herein petitioners argument that the Revocation of Donation was void as the ground mentioned therein is not one of those allowed by law to be a basis for revocation. WHEN IT UPHELD THE REVOCATION OF DONATION. SO ORDERED. at the time the complaint was filed. and that since the donation is inter vivos. the Revocation of Donation is null and void as the ground mentioned therein is not among those provided by law to be the basis thereof. thus sustaining its finding that the conveyance was mortis causa. that given the nullity of the disposition mortis causa in view of a failure to comply with the formalities required therefor. the trial court held that the legal grounds for such revocation as provided under the Civil Code arise only in cases of donations inter vivos. the revocation could only be legally enforced upon filing of the appropriate complaint in court within the prescriptive period provided by law. and at any rate. hence. . petitioners contending that the trial court erred: I. thus: WHEREFORE the Court renders judgment declaring null and void the Deed of Donation of Real Property executed by Celestina Ganuelas. . . . it may be revoked only for the reasons provided in Articles 760. The trial court held. already lapsed. IN RENDERING ITS DECISION ADVERSE TO PETITIONER URSULINA GANUELAS. holding that the provision in the Deed of Donation that in the event that the DONEE should predecease the DONOR. III. the acknowledgment was defective as only the donor and donee appear to have acknowledged the deed before the notary public. . thereby rendering the entire document void. thus supporting the conclusion that the donation is mortis causa. Hence. the trial court held that the subsequent execution by Celestina of the Revocation of Donation showed that the donor intended the revocability of the donation ad nutum. and that while the deed contained an attestation clause and an acknowledgment showing the intent of the donor to effect a postmortem disposition. . 1996. and orders the partition of the estate of Celestina among the intestate heirs. but not in donations mortis causa which are revocable at will during the lifetime of the donor.
. By Decision of February 22. . Lastly. the trial court. the instant petition for review. The trial court also held that the absence of a reservation clause in the deed implied that Celestina retained complete dominion over her properties. the donation shall be deemed rescinded and of no further force and effect is an explicit indication that the deed is a donation mortis causa. the Deed of Revocation was a superfluity. which period had. 764 and 765 of the Civil Code. found for the plaintiffs-herein private respondents. .The defendants-herein petitioners alleged in their Answer that the donation in favor of Ursulina was inter vivos as contemplated under Article 729 of the Civil Code. in any event.
their [p]etition be given due course and resolved. 1998. the donation must be in the form of a will. Donation inter vivos differs from donation mortis causa in that in the former. it must be executed and accepted with the formalities prescribed by Articles 748 and 749 of the Civil Code. there is nothing therein which indicates that any right. title or interest in the donated properties was to be transferred to Ursulina prior to the death of Celestina. then it is at that time that the donation takes effect. The distinguishing characteristics of a donation mortis causa are the following: 1. reacting to this Court s January 28. meaning that the full or naked ownership (nuda proprietas) of the donated properties passes to the donee during the donor s lifetime. Crucial in the resolution of the issue is the determination of whether the donor intended to transfer the ownership over the properties upon the execution of the deed. not by reason of his death but because of the deed of donation. In the donation subject of the present case. the act is immediately operative even if the actual execution may be deferred until the death of the donor. Geraldez is illuminating: If the donation is made in contemplation of the donor s death. otherwise it is void and cannot transfer ownership. If it is mortis causa. but revocability may be provided for indirectly by means of a reserved power in the donor to dispose of the properties conveyed. and it is a donation mortis causa which should be embodied in a last will and testament. that the transferor should retain the ownership (full or naked) and control of the property while alive. 2.In a letter of March 16.
. meaning that the full or naked ownership of the donated properties will pass to the donee only because of the donor s death. except when it is onerous in which case the rules on contracts will apply. then the donation is inter vivos. If the donation is inter vivos. 3. That before his death. who were required to comment on the letter. That the transfer should be void if the transferor should survive the transferee. by Comment of October 28. ad nutum. while in the latter. or. The distinction between a transfer inter vivos and mortis causa is important as the validity or revocation of the donation depends upon its nature. The phrase to become effective upon the death of the DONOR admits of no other interpretation but that Celestina intended to transfer the ownership of the properties to Ursulina on her death. The following ruling of this Court in Alejandro v. nothing is conveyed to or acquired by the donee until the death of the donor-testator. not during her lifetime. Petitioners. 1998 Resolution requiring private respondents to SHOW CAUSE why they should not be disciplinarily dealt with or held in contempt for failure to submit the name and address of their new counsel. what amounts to the same thing. private respondent Corazon Sipalay. 1998. the transfer should be revocable by the transferor at will. It conveys no title or ownership to the transferee before the death of the transferor. with all the formalities for the validity of wills. welcome private respondents gesture but pray that for the sake of enriching jurisprudence. The issue is thus whether the donation is inter vivos or mortis causa. But if the donation takes effect during the donor s lifetime or independently of the donor s death. explains that they are no longer interested in pursuing the case and are willing and ready to waive whatever rights they have over the properties subject of the donation.
Like in the present case. failing which the donation is void and produces no effect. the formalities of a will under Article 728 of the Civil Code should have been complied with. because a legacy may have an identical motivation. The notary public shall not be required to retain a copy of the will. at the foot of this deed of donation mortis causa. Heirs of Cabatingan. 806. for the above-quoted provision conclusively establishes the donor s intention to transfer the ownership and possession of the donated property to the donee only after the former s death. In other words. HOWEVER. 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. the provision in the deed stating that if the donee should die before the donor. to become effective upon the death of the DONOR. by way of donation. SO ORDERED. transfer. In Maglasang v. unto the DONEE the above-described property. the donation shall be deemed rescinded and of no further force and effect shows that the donation is a postmortem disposition.
. the attesting witnesses failed to acknowledge the deed before the notary public. the present donation shall be deemed automatically rescinded and of no further force and effect. That the donation was prompted by the affection of the donor for the donee and the services rendered by the latter is of no particular significance in determining whether the deed constitutes a transfer inter vivos or not. (Emphasis supplied) To classify the donation as inter vivos simply because it is founded on considerations of love and affection is erroneous. thus violating Article 806 of the Civil Code which provides: Art. the deeds therein did not contain any clear provision that purports to pass proprietary rights to the donee prior to the donor s death. As stated in a long line of cases.More importantly. together with the buildings and all improvements existing thereon. Every will must be acknowledged before a notary public by the testator and the witnesses. More. As the subject deed then is in the nature of a mortis causa disposition. consisting of two (2) pages and on the left margin of each and every page thereof in the joint presence of all of us who at her request and in her presence and that of each other have in like manner subscribed our names as witnesses. Celestina Ganuelas. the deeds of donation contained provisions almost identical to those found in the deed subject of the present case: That for and in consideration of the love and affection of the DONOR for the DONEE. love and affection may also underline transfers mortis causa. WHEREFORE. that in the event that the DONEE should die before the DONOR. As noted by the trial court. the petition is hereby DENIED for lack of merit. x x x the DONOR does hereby. PROVIDED. by these presents. this Court held that the donations were mortis causa. The deed contains an attestation clause expressly confirming the donation as mortis causa: SIGNED by the above-named donor. convey. or file another with the office of the Clerk of Court. (Underscoring supplied) In that case. (Emphasis supplied) The trial court did not thus commit any reversible error in declaring the Deed of Donation to be mortis causa.
Prudencio de Luna donated a portion of 7. . unless extensions are granted by the DONOR in writing. a Nursery and Kindergarten School.
11. 17939 of Transfer Certificate of Title No. This is a petition for review on certiorari of the Order dated July 7. ABRIGO. Veronica. petitioners. HON. however.R. without the need of executing any other document for that purpose and without obligation whatever on the part of the DONOR. in a document entitled "Revival of Donation Intervivos" (Annex "B" of Petition) subject to terms and conditions which among others. Rollo). and LUZONIAN UNIVERSITY FOUNDATION. vs.. As a result. the "Revival of Donation Intenrivos" also provided for the automatic reversion to the donor of the donated area in case of violation of the conditions thereof.EVELYN DE LUNA. The remaining portion known as Lot No. Rollo) As in the original deed of donation. On April 9. 24. Rollo). The antecedent facts are as follows: On January 24. That violation of any of the conditions herein provided shall cause the automatic reversion of the donated area to the donor. and JOSELITO DE LUNA. Rollo). WILLARD DE LUNA. . 1965. Nursery and Kindergarten School shall start immediately and must be at least SEVENTY (70) PER CENTUM finished by the end of THREE (3) YEARS from the date hereof. ROSALINA DE LUNA. 3707-A was retained by the donor.500 square meters of Lot No. 15. The donation. embodied in a Deed of Donation Intervivos (Annex "A" of Petition) 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 (pars. 23. 20. and other constructions and Accessories shall be constructed on the land herein being donated strictly in accordance with the plans and specifications prepared by the O. 1971. 16. 1-5775 to the Luzonian Colleges. That the construction of the Chapel. Rollo). 4. transfer certificate of title No. his heirs. JR. respondents. 1971 in the memorandum of encumbrances as Entry No. INC. Prudencio de Luna "revived" the said donation in favor of the foundation. accepted the donation in the same document. couched in the following terms: xxx xxx xxx. Branch IX in Civil Case No. subject to all the terms and conditions stated in the donation (p. 8624 dismissing the complaint of petitioners on the ground of prescription of action. (p. On August 3. 7 and 10 of Annex "A". . Rollo). to be named after St. Prudencio de Luna and the foundation executed a 'Deed of Segregation" (Annex "C" of Petition) whereby the area donated which is now known as Lot No. 1981 of respondent judge Sofronio F. The foundation failed to comply with the conditions of the donation. The foundation. Abrigo of the Court of First Instance of Quezon. 3707-B of Subdivision Plan Psd-40392 was adjudicated to the foundation. Inc. (p. the whole project as drawn in the plans and specifications made parts of this donation must be completed within FIVE (5) YEARS from the date hereon. 24. p.. T-16152 was issued in the name of the foundation.. (p. Quinto & Associates and made part of this donation. 3707 of the Cadastral Survey of Lucena covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. (now Luzonian University Foundation. That the DONEE shall construct at its own expense a Chapel. Inc. herein referred to as the foundation). Branch IX. provided that the flooring of the Altar and parts of the Chapel shall be of granoletic marble. SOFRONIO F. required: xxx xxx xxx
3.. through its president. PRUDENCIO DE LUNA. T-5775 (p. 1971. The donation was registered and annotated on April 15. ANTONIO DE LUNA. Presiding Judge of the Court of First Instance of Quezon. .
. assigns and representatives.
42-43. After the parties have filed their respective written motions. 143. Rollo) with the Regional Trial Court of Quezon alleging that the terms and conditions of the donation were not complied with by the foundation. After the parties' submission of their respective briefs. THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN HOLDING THAT THE DONEE'S CONSENT TO THE REVOCATION OF A DONATION TO BE VALID MUST BE GIVEN SUBSEQUENT TO THE EFFECTIVITY OF THE DONATION OR VIOLATION OF (THE) ANY OF THE CONDITIONS IMPOSED THEREIN. filed a complaint (pp. oppositions and memoranda. No pronouncement as to costs. Rollo). Willard. a judicial decree revoking the subject donation is necessary. herein petitioners. 40-43. petitioners brought the instant petition for review with the following assignments of error: I. 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. Antonio and Joselito. 1981 (p. The trial court further held that. THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN DISMISSING THE COMPLAINT. (pp. III. Rollo) No motion for reconsideration was filed by petitioners. WHEREFORE. it prayed for the cancellation of the donation and the reversion of the donated land to the heirs. On July 22. 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. The assailed order of the trial court stated that revocation (of a donation) will be effective only either upon court judgment or upon consent of the donee as held in the case of Parks v. who claim to be the children and only heirs of the late Prudencio de Luna who died on August 18. Accordingly. 29-36. Rollo). the instant complaint is hereby ordered DISMISSED. 45. actions to revoke a donation on the ground of non-compliance with any of the conditions of the donation shall prescribe in four years counted from such non-compliance. II. 1982 (p.. In its answer (pp. 8624. under Article 764 of the New Civil Code. an Order (pp. Evelyn. the
. 14-17. 62. July 13. this 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. The complaint was docketed as Civil Case No. 49 Phil. HENCE. 1-2. Jr. In view thereof. the Court resolved to consider the petition submitted for decision on January 27. No.On September 23. During the pre-trial of the case. 1981. all surnamed de Luna. the donee claimed that it had already substantially complied with the conditions of the donation by introducing improvements in the property donated valued at more than the amount of the donated land. Rollo) dated July 7. the foundation moved for a preliminary hearing of its affirmative defense of prescription of action which was opposed by the plaintiffs. It also invoked the affirmative defense of prescription of action and prayed for the dismissal of the complaint. SO ORDERED. Prudencio. 1980.. THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN NOT RENDERING JUDGMENT ON THE MERITS BY WAY OF JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS. (pp. Petitioner's Brief)
We gave due course to the petition on August 3. Province of Tarlac. Rollo). 1980. The trial court dismissed the claim of petitioners that the stipulation in the donation providing for revocation in case of non-compliance of conditions in the donation is tantamount to the consent of the donee. opining that the consent contemplated by law should be such consent given by the donee subsequent to the effectivity of the donation or violation of the conditions imposed therein. In the instant case. 1981 was issued dismissing the complaint. Among others. Rosalina. 24190. 1926. The dispositive portion of the Order states: In view of the foregoing considerations. far from consenting to the revocation.
" Paragraph 11 of the "Revival of Donation Intervivos. The petition is impressed with merit. public order or public policy. that the donation subject of this case is one with an onerous cause. good customs. 29 Phil. On the matter of prescription of actions for the revocation of onerous donation. Donations with an onerous cause shall be governed by the rules on contracts. Manalo vs. February 12.. has provided that "violation of any of the conditions (herein) shall cause the automatic reversion of the donated area to the donor. . By way of contrast. Under Article 1306 of the New Civil Code. without the need of executing any other document for that purpose and without obligation on the part of the DONOR". On the other hand. 11 ed. However. 495. (Parks v. it is Our opinion that 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. 183. and remuneratory donations by the provisions of the present Title as regards that portion which exceeds the value of the burden imposed. morals. it was already barred by prescription. the rules on contracts and the general rules on prescription and not the rules on donations are applicable in the case at bar. September 5. when there is a stipulation agreed upon by the parties providing for revocation in case of noncompliance. provided they are not contrary to law. terms and conditions as they may deem convenient. good customs. Said stipulation not being contrary to law. It is the finding of the trial court. clauses. 726). donations may be 1) simple. petitioners argue that Article 764 of the New Civil Code was adopted to provide a judicial remedy in case of non-fulfillment of conditions when revocation of the donation has not been agreed upon by the parties. as held in the cases of Carlos v. Civil Code of the Philippines Annotated.. Vol. Upon the happening of the resolutory
. it was held that the general rules on prescription applies. 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. without need of going to court. It was made subject to the burden requiring the donee to construct a chapel. charges or future services equal (or more) in value than that of the thing donated (Edgardo L. Under the old Civil Code. when the value of said services. actions for the revocation of a donation must be brought within four (4) years from the non-compliance of the conditions of the donation. Province of Tarlac. 1980. 20 Phil. it is a settled rule that donations with an onerous cause are governed not by the law on donations but by the rules on contracts. L-6736. Ramil. but one to enforce a written contract which prescribes in ten (10) years. his heirs. It is then petitioners' claim that the action filed before the Court of First Instance of Quezon is not one for revocation of the donation under Article 764 of the New Civil Code which prescribes in four (4) years. A remuneratory donation is one where the donee gives something to reward past or future services or because of future charges or burdens. Paras. It is in the nature of an agreement granting a party the right to rescind a contract unilaterally in case of breach.four-year period for filing the complaint for revocation commenced on April 9. From the viewpoint of motive. The same rules apply under the New Civil Code as provided in Article 733 thereof which provides: Art. . Since the complaint was brought on September 23. 1976 and expired on April 9. In the light of the above. L-9449. 11. which is not disputed by the parties. no judicial action is necessary. 1980 or more than five (5) months beyond the prescriptive period. de Mesa. 733. supra. 1915. burdens or charges is less than the value of the donation. A simple donation is one the cause of which is pure liberality (no strings attached). . is valid and binding upon the foundation who voluntarily consented thereto. purpose or cause. morals. p. It is true that under Article 764 of the New Civil Code. 2) remuneratory or 3) onerous. public order or public policy. 1911. a nursery and a kindergarten school in the donated property within five years from execution of the deed of donation. An onerous donation is one which is subject to burdens. the parties to a contract have the right "to establish such stipulations.).
thus. is not applicable in the case at bar.
. . relied upon by the trial court. Section 1 of Rule 19 provides: "Where an answer fails to tender an issue. 1971. 1970. de los Angeles. estoppel or prescription. Commissioner of Customs. in the University of the Philippines v. 35 SCRA 102-107. where the extrajudicial resolution is contested. The complaint which was filed on September 23. Respondent judge is ordered to conduct a trial on the merits to determine the propriety of the revocation of the subject donation.condition of non-compliance with the conditions of the contract. Pan Oriental Shipping Co. As provided in the donation executed on April 9. 1985: Well settled is. supra. the donation is automatically revoked without need of a judicial declaration to that effect. "only the final award of the court of competent jurisdiction can conclusively settle whether the resolution is proper or not." (Emphasis supplied) ACCORDINGLY. L11897. the court may. While the donation involved therein was also onerous. Angeles case. however. The validity of the stipulation can not be seriously disputed. the court cannot motu proprio render such judgment. . considering that the allegations in the complaint on the matter of the donee's non-compliance with the conditions of the donation have been contested by private respondents who claimed that improvements more valuable than the donated property had been introduced.. In the case of University of the Philippines v. since in every case. but in order to determine whether or not the recession was proper. L-42283. counted from April 9. even without court intervention. complaince with the terms and conditions of the contract of donation. 29 SCRA 504) However. it was held that in cases where one of the parties contests or denies the rescission. by this court. only the final award of the court of competent jurisdiction can conclusively settle whether the resolution was proper or not. 12 SCRA 276). or otherwise admits the material allegations of the adverse party's pleading. in the absence of a motion for judgment on the pleadings. there was no agreement in the donation providing for automatic rescission. 37 SCRA 327.. March 18. New Civil Code). a judgment on the pleadings is not proper. Province of Tarlac. however. (Ponce Enrile v. The case of Parks v." It was held. direct judgment on such pleading. It is clear. 1980 was then well within the ten (10) year prescriptive period to enforce a written contract (Article 1144. It is in the nature of a facultative resolutory condition which in many cases has been upheld. on motion of that party. unless attack thereon should become barred by acquiescence. SO ORDERED. It is in this sense that judicial action will be necessary as without it. the petition is GRANTED. the rule that a judicial action for the rescission of a contract is not necessary where the contract provides that it may be revoked and cancelled for violation of any of its terms and conditions (Lopez v. Calasanz. shall be made within five (5) years from its execution. that judicial intervention is necessary not for purposes of obtaining a judicial declaration rescinding a contract already deemed rescinded by virtue of an agreement providing for rescission even without judicial intervention. it is not always necessary for the injured party to resort to court for rescission of the contract (Froilan v. L-28602. Moreover. September 29. the extrajudicial resolution will remain contestable and subject to judicial invalidation. thus: . 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. In other words. Resort to judicial action for rescission is obviously not contemplated. . the need for a judicial declaration revoking said donation. 8624 is hereby ordered reinstated. (supra). it was held: . 334. This was reiterated in the case of Angeles v. 1976. Civil Case No. and cases cited therein). et al. Court of Appeals. There is nothing in the law that prohibits the parties from entering into agreement that violation of the terms of the contract would cause cancellation thereof. Finally. 31 October 1964. .
now deceased. delegated to his father the mere administration of the property. Felipe C. it remains valid considering that no third person is involved. met with the officers of the defendant corporation at least once before he caused the registration of the deed of donation in his favor and although the lease itself was not registered. petitioner Shopper s Paradise Realty & Development Corporation. Conformably with the agreement. were never made because of the untimely demise of Dr. Roque. The contract of lease and the memorandum of agreement. with a prayer for the issuance of a preliminary injunction. respondent. In a letter."1 The Trial court ordered respondent to surrender TCT No. was no longer the owner of the subject property at the time the lease on the subject property was agreed upon. Civil Code) and therefore. The death of Dr. Felipe Roque had no authority to enter into the assailed agreements with petitioner. He is bound by the contract even if he did not participate therein. petitioner. petitioner issued a check for another P250. represented by its president. and that the late Dr. over a parcel of land. The title to the property. petitioner and Dr. and it is a rule that contracts take effect not only between the parties themselves but also between their assigns and heirs (Article 1311. Roque. Plaintiff knew very well of the existence of the lease.00 by way of "reservation payment. Respondent. 109754 to the Register of Deeds of Quezon City for the annotation of the questioned Contract of Lease and Memorandum of Agreement. one of the surviving children of the late Dr. Plaintiff cannot be the third person because he is the successor-in-interest of his father. and it was only transferred to and in the name of respondent sixteen years later. the lessor.SHOPPER S PARADISE REALTY & DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION. Roque. before Branch 222 of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City.00. however. respondent filed a case for annulment of the contract of lease and the memorandum of agreement. EFREN P. Dr. is important in binding third persons. Registration. On 23 December 1993. remained in the name of Dr. Roque alleged that he had long been the absolute owner of the subject property by virtue of a deed of donation inter vivos executed in his favor by his parents. dated 3 November 1994. He. ROQUE. the agreements have been perfected and partially executed by the receipt of his father of the downpayment and deposit totaling to P500. covered by Transfer of Certificate of Title (TCT) No. The annotations. The donation was made in a public instrument duly acknowledged by the donor-spouses before a notary public and duly accepted on the same day by respondent before the notary public in the same instrument of donation. Moreover. Felipe C.
. situated at Plaza Novaliches. 109754 of the Register of Deeds of Quezon City. development and operation of a commercial building complex on the property. while he resided in the United States of America. were to be annotated on TCT No.036) square meters. or on 11 May 1994. Roque likewise entered into a memorandum of agreement for the construction. Roque. both notarized. Roque. respondent advised petitioner "to desist from any attempt to enforce the aforementioned contract of lease and memorandum of agreement". Thus. Roque a check for P250. Petitioner issued to Dr. when Felipe Roque entered into a leased contract with defendant corporation. On 15 February 1995. Roque. vs. Felipe Roque. "The registration of the Deed of Donation after the execution of the lease contract did not affect the latter unless he had knowledge thereof at the time of the registration which plaintiff had not been able to establish. Efren P. in fact. Veredigno Atienza. plaintiff Efren Roque (could) no longer assert the unregistered deed of donation and say that his father. 30591 within sixty (60) days from 23 December 1993 or until 23 February 1994. Quezon City. Roque.000. entered into a twenty-five year lease with Dr. On 9 August 1996. however. the trial court dismissed the complaint of respondent. on 26 December 1978. the lease contract together with the memorandum of agreement would be conclusive on plaintiff Efren Roque. Respondent came to know of the assailed contracts with petitioner only after retiring to the Philippines upon the death of his father. Felipe Roque and Elisa Roque.000. however.00 "downpayment" to Dr." Simultaneously. 30591 of the Register of Deeds of Quezon City in the name of Dr.000. a deed of donation need not be registered in order to be valid between the parties. Roque on 10 February 1994 constrained petitioner to deal with respondent Efren P. under TCT No. Felipe C. it explained: "Ordinarily. with an area of two thousand and thirty six (2. Felipe. but the negotiations broke down due to some disagreements.
But you yourself did not? "A. "Q. concluded that petitioner was not a lessee in good faith having had prior knowledge of the donation in favor of respondent. The appellate court based its findings largely on the testimony of Veredigno Atienza during cross-examination. "Q. will comprise one whole. When was the information supplied to you by Biglang-awa? Before the execution of the Contract of Lease and Memorandum of Agreement? "A. By inheritance. and that such actual knowledge had the effect of registration insofar as petitioner was concerned. Ruben and Cesar. did you have such information confirmed by Dr. Yong kay Efren palibhasa nasa America sya.On appeal." "x x x xxx xxx
. and the other to Cesar Roque? "A. Yong kay Ruben pupunta kay Ruben. Yes. nasa pangalan pa ni Dr. one to Ruben Roque. Yes. the appellate court. the first in the name of Ruben Roque and the second. "Q. however. That being the case. Yes. the subject of the construction involved in this case. because I was doing certain things. No. Aside from these two lots. Inheritance in the form of donation? "A. were you told by Dr. at the time of the execution of the agreement or soon before. What I am only asking you is. Roque himself? "A. Biglang-awa did it for us. you said there is another lot which was part of development project? "A. We were a team and so Biglang-awa did it for us. Felipe C. "Q. The other whole property belongs to Cesar. While it shared the view expressed by the trial court that a deed of donation would have to be registered in order to bind third persons. Roque. Roque so that the adjoining properties of his two sons. the other to Efren. You were informed by Dr. "Q. You did the inquiry from him. Roque that this property was given to his three (3) sons. I mean inheritance. the Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the trial court and held to be invalid the Contract of Lease and Memorandum of Agreement. "Q. Roque at the time of your transaction with him that all these three properties were given to his children by way of donation? "A. this was the main concept of Dr. Felipe C. how was this property given to them? "A. Felipe C. "Q. viz. What Architect Biglang-awa told us in his exact word: "Yang mga yan pupunta sa mga anak.
"The act of registration shall be the operative act to convey or affect the land insofar as third persons are concerned. could or should have been done earlier. for an unreasonable and unexplained length of time.10
.9 Article 1878 of the Civil Code expresses that a special power of attorney is necessary to lease any real property to another person for more than one year. and that.An owner of registered land may convey. the donation must be registered in the registry of Property (Registry of Land Titles and Deeds). lease. Section 50 of Act No. that the donation be made in a public document but. except a will purporting to convey or affect registered land shall take effect as a conveyance or bind the land. between the parties to a donation of an immovable property. by exercising due diligence.1awphil. states: "SECTION 51. was apprised of the fact that the subject property actually belonged to respondent. specifying therein the property donated and the value of the charges which the donee must satisfy. But no deed. Yes." (emphasis supplied) A person dealing with registered land may thus safely rely on the correctness of the certificate of title issued therefore. lease. however. The lease of real property for more than one year is considered not merely an act of administration but an act of strict dominion or of ownership. albeit unregistered.8 The appellate court was not without substantial basis when it found petitioner to have had knowledge of the donation at the time it entered into the two agreements with Dr. Felipe C. A special power of attorney is thus necessary for its execution through an agent. Conveyance and other dealings by registered owner. Laches. donation results in an effective transfer of title over the property from the donor to the donee. mortgages. leases or other voluntary instruments as are sufficient in law. As being itself a mode of acquiring ownership. to do that which. is the failure or neglect. Roque had been an authorized agent of respondent. 1529 (Property Registration Decree). warranting a presumption that the party entitled to assert it either has abandoned or declined to assert it. in its real sense. mortgage. where such party has knowledge of a prior existing interest which is unregistered at the time he acquired a right thereto.ne+ The Court cannot accept petitioner s argument that respondent is guilty of laches."5 It is enough. respondent is barred by laches and estoppel from denying the contracts. The existence. and in all cases under this Decree. Roque. in order to bind third persons.4 The Civil Code provides.6 Consistently. He may use such forms of deeds. So in effect."2 In the instant petition for review. it is negligence or omission to assert a right within a reasonable time. petitioner. the law requires for its validity that it should be contained in a public document. and he is not required to go beyond the certificate to determine the condition of the property7 but."Q. which are not duly inscribed or annotated in the Registry of Property (now Registry of Land Titles and Deeds) shall not prejudice third persons. any information gathered by Biglang-awa was of the same effect as if received by you because you were members of the same team? "A. charge or otherwise deal with the same in accordance with existing laws. No.. in any event. or other rights over immovable property. of the donation in favor of respondent is undisputed. that "titles of ownership.3 In donations of immovable property. but shall operate only as a contract between the parties and as evidence of authority to the Register of Deeds to make registration. During their negotiation. The trial court and the appellate court have not erred in holding that the nonregistration of a deed of donation does not affect its validity. In a contract of agency. the registration shall be made in the office of the Register of Deeds for the province or city where the land lies.D. petitioner seeks a reversal of the decision of the Court of Appeals and the reinstatement of the ruling of the Regional Trial Court. mortgage. as so amended by Section 51 of P. his knowledge of that prior unregistered interest would have the effect of registration as regards to him. or other voluntary instrument. It was not shown that Dr. the agent acts in representation or in behalf of another with the consent of the latter. it argues that the presumption of good faith it so enjoys as a party dealing in registered land has not been overturned by the aforequoted testimonial evidence. 496 (Land Registration Act). through its representatives.
the conditions he must satisfy are: 1) lack of knowledge or of the means of knowledge of the truth as to the facts in question. could respondent then be said to have neglected to assert his case for unreasonable length of time. No costs. and 3) action or inaction based thereon of such character as to change his position or status calculated to cause him injury or prejudice. more importantly. Felipe C.11 With respect to the party claiming the estoppel. petitioner has been shown not to be totally unaware of the real ownership of the subject property. in good faith. and the decision of the Court of Appeals declaring the contract of lease and memorandum of agreement entered into between Dr. that this conduct shall influence. in relation to the party sought to be estopped.Respondent learned of the contracts only in February 1994 after the death of his father. are: 1) a clear conduct amounting to false representation or concealment of material facts or. an expectation. The essential elements of estoppel in pais. and 3) the knowledge. upon the conduct or statements of the party to be estopped. at least. or be acted upon by. calculated to convey the impression that the facts are otherwise than. actual or constructive. WHEREFORE. the petition is DENIED. Hardly. those which the party subsequently attempts to assert. the other party. Altogether. there is no cogent reason to reverse the Court of Appeals in its assailed decision. and inconsistent with. at least.
. Neither is respondent estopped from repudiating the contracts. he assailed the validity of the agreements. SO ORDERED. by him of the real facts.12 It has not been shown that respondent intended to conceal the actual facts concerning the property. 2) an intent or. 2) reliance. and in the same year. Roque and Shopper s Paradise Realty & Development Corporation not to be binding on respondent is AFFIRMED. during November.
the appellant Liguez was a minor. Salvador P. We granted certiorari on October 9. for and in the consideration of his love and affection for the said DONEE. that the widow and children of Lopez were in possession of the land and made improvements thereon. The case began upon complaint filed by petitioner-appellant against the widow and heirs of the late Salvador P." In consonance with this view. a married man. on 18 May 1943. It is argued that under Article 1274 of the Civil Code of 1889 (which was the governing law in 1948. L-7756. voluntarily give grant and donate to the said donee. DE LOPEZ. Lopez and his wife. only 16 years of age. Jeturian * G. Salvador P. July 30. that the land was assessed in the tax rolls first in the name of Lopez and later in that of his widow. sometime during June of 1943. Lopez had been living with the parents of appellant for barely a month. since it is neither against law or morals or public policy. and also for the good and valuable services rendered to the DONOR by the DONEE. Upon these facts. in which the idea of self-interest is totally absent on the part of the transferor.. like the Supreme
.. does by these presents. affirming that of the Court of First Instance of Davao dismissing her complaint for recovery of land. had no right to donate conjugal property to the plaintiff appellant. contracts. to have sexual relations with appellant Conchita Liguez. Plaintiff averred to be its legal owner. etc. Conchita Liguez and Salvador P. which was the plaintiff's entering into marital relations with Salvador P. in other words. the consideration is the service or benefit for which the remuneration is given. Conchita Liguez has resorted to this Court. praying that the aforesaid decision be reversed on points of law. It was also ascertained by the Court of Appeals that the donated land originally belonged to the conjugal partnership of Salvador P. "in contracts of pure beneficence the consideration is the liberality of the donor". From a decision of the Court of Appeals. The flaw in this argument lies in ignoring that under Article 1274. liberality of the do or is deemed causa in those contracts that are of "pure" beneficence. the same Article 1274 provides that in remuneratory contracts. causa is not liberality in these cases because the contract or conveyance is not made out of pure beneficence.84 hectares of land. 1955. but "solvendi animo. contracts designed solely and exclusively to procure the welfare of the beneficiary. 1943. petitioner. this Supreme Court in Philippine Long Distance Co. that is to say. and that the deed of donation was never recorded. and (2) because the donation was tainted with illegal cause or consideration. when the donation was executed). the Court of Appeals held that the deed of donation was inoperative. Lopez. executed in her favor by the late owner. At the time. and null and void (1) because the husband. 1956. of which donor and donee were participants. until Lopez was killed on July 1st. Davao. Appellant vigorously contends that the Court of First Instance as well as the Court of Appeals erred in holding the donation void for having an illicit cause or consideration. For this very reason. Province of Davao. MARIA NGO VDA. Lopez. The Court of Appeals found that the deed of donation was prepared by the Justice of the Peace of Mati. that Lopez had confessed to his love for appellant to the instrumental witnesses. vs. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS. before whom it was signed and ratified on the date aforesaid. Exhibit "A") the Court of Appeals found that when the donation was made. Conchita Liguez. Lopez to recover a parcel of 51. Lopez lived together in the house that was built upon the latter's orders. since 1949.CONCHITA LIGUEZ. and that the property had been adjudicated to the appellees as heirs of Lopez by the court of First Instance. that the donation was made in view of the desire of Salvador P. Lopez. without any intent of producing any satisfaction for the donor. Lopez. Lopez. of the municipality of Mati. ET AL. with the remark that her parents would not allow Lopez to live with her unless he first donated the land in question. The defense interposed was that the donation was null and void for having an illicit causa or consideration. a man of mature years. that after the donation. respondents. pursuant to a deed of donation of said land. vs. that the latter had met and berated Conchita for living maritally with her husband. situated in barrio Bogac-Linot.R. Maria Ngo. (Paragraph 2. by some guerrillas who believed him to be pro-Japanese. and that liberality per se can never be illegal. While the deed recites That the DONOR.
1946. and his desire for cohabiting with appellant. holding that the motive may be regarded as causa when it predetermines the purpose of the contract. In the present case. expressly excepts from the rule those contracts that are conditioned upon the attainment of the motives of either party. 641-642). It is well to note. however that Manresa himself (Vol. Thus considered. the following rules shall be observed: (1) When the fault is on the part of both contracting parties. 1899. in its decisions of February 4. so that he could gratify his sexual impulses. . 171). . who was a man advanced in years and mature experience. has ruled that bonuses granted to employees to excite their zeal and efficiency. what he has given by reason of the contract. that there is no finding made by the Court of Appeals that she was fully aware of the terms of the bargain entered into by and Lopez and her parents. and quotes from Manresa and the jurisprudence of this Court on the distinction that must be maintained between causa and motives (De Jesus vs. The same view is held by the Supreme Court of Spain. necessarily tainted the donation itself. neither may recover what he has given by virtue of the contract. . and that the substance of the testimony of the instrumental witnesses is that it was the appellant's parents who insisted on the donation before allowing her to live with
. he cannot recover. First. The Court of Appeals rejected the appellant's claim on the basis of the well. or ask for fulfillment of what has been promised him. pp. 1412. 33 Phil. may demand the return of what he has given without any obligation to comply with his promise.. the donation was but one part of an onerous transaction (at least with appellant's parents) that must be viewed in its totality. and being unlawful. as motives that impelled him to make the donation. Actually. the Court of Appeals erred in applying to the present case the pari delicto rule. the appellant was a mere minor. that he was in love with appellant. and December 4. 8. as causa for the donation in her favor. que impide anular el contrato por la sola influencia de los motivos a no ser que se hubiera subordinando al cumplimiento de estos como condiciones la eficacia de aquel. because it can not be said that both parties here had equal guilt when we consider that as against the deceased Salvador P. Lopez. do not constitute donation having liberality for a consideration. it is scarcely disputable that Lopez would not have conveyed the property in question had he known that appellant would refuse to cohabit with him. so that the cohabitation was an implied condition to the donation. (2) When only one of the contracting parties is at fault. distincion importantisima. This is clear from the confession of Lopez to the witnesses Rodriguez and Ragay. If the act in which the unlawful or forbidden cause consists does not constitute a criminal offense. 1941. who is not at fault. therefore. The other. while maintaining the distinction and upholding the inoperativeness of the motives of the parties to determine the validity of the contract. when the donation was made. Here the facts as found by the Court of Appeals (and which we can not vary) demonstrate that in making the donation in question. 16 years of age. In our opinion. but her parents would not agree unless he donated the land in question to her. Urrutia and Co. the conveyance was clearly predicated upon an illicit causa. her acceptance in the deed of donation (which was authorized by Article 626 of the Old Civil Code) did not necessarily imply knowledge of conditions and terms not set forth therein.known rule "in pari delicto non oritur actio" as embodied in Article 1306 of 1889 (reproduced in Article 1412 of the new Civil Code): ART. or demand the performance of the other's undertaking. with consequent benefit for the employer. Lopez was not moved exclusively by the desire to benefit appellant Conchita Liguez. the late Salvador P. but also to secure her cohabiting with him. that.Court of Spain in its decision of 16 Feb. Appellant seeks to differentiate between the alleged liberality of Lopez.
It is a familiar principle that the courts will not aid either party to enforce an illegal contract.Lopez. It must not be forgotten that illegality is not presumed. but will leave them both where it finds them. There are two answers to his claim as urged in his brief. however. The husband may dispose of the property of the conjugal partnership for the purposes mentioned in Article 1409.". as successors of the late donor. The rule was reaffirmed in Lima vs. 7 Phil. On this proof. since Lopez. 1409. 'the agreement not disclosing the illegal motive for placing the formal title in the plaintiff. where the arrangement is not one in fraud of the law. 1413. It does not. and his heirs. himself. The situation confronting us is exactly analogous. Federal Case 17455. the vice does not affect his right to recover. Baello vs. 51 Phil. 1409. can have no better rights than Lopez himself. has been interpreted by this Court as barring the party from pleading the illegality of the bargain either as a cause of action or as a defense. 1902. to the prejudice of his wife Maria Ngo. Villanueva. ART. a profession or by both spouses by common consent. Lini Chu Kao. The appellant seeks recovery of the disputed land on the strength of a donation regular on its face. The principle applies equally to a defense.). In this regard. Arts. might overthrow this title by proof through a certain subsequent agreement between him and the plaintiff. being thus precluded from pleading the defense of immorality or illegal causa of the donation. and the official registration. the rule that parties to an illegal contract. 695-696: It is unnecessary to determine whether a vessel for which a certificate and license have been fraudulently obtained incurs forfeiture under these or any other provisions of this act. but must be duly and adequately proved. which the cases cited he would not be allowed to do. Herranz. 1415. It is enough for this case that the statute prohibits such an arrangement as that between the plaintiff and defendant so as to render illegal both the arrangement itself and all contracts between the parties growing out of it. 54 Phil. 477. for the United States courts recognize the equitable ownership of a vessel as against the holder of a legal title. the Court of Appeals correctly held that Lopez could not donate the entirety of the property in litigation. But such plea on the part of the Lopez heirs is not receivable. Such an ownership is not in itself prohibited. the defendant being a part owner of the vessel. These facts are more suggestive of seduction than of immoral bargaining on the part of appellant. 213). Calais Steamboat Company. Appellees. follow that the plaintiff can succeed in this action. if equally guilty. Said this Court in Perez vs. but where the plaintiff can establish a cause of action without exposing its illegality. Bell and Co. the total or partial ineffectiveness of the same must be decided by different legal principles. In the case at bar the plaintiff could establish prima facie his sole ownership by the bill of sale from Smith. will not be aided by the law but will both be left where it finds them. because said property was conjugal in character and the right of the husband to donate community property is strictly limited by law (Civil Code of 1889. would have defeated the action for its exclusive possession by the plaintiff. The defendant.)
. To defeat its effect. The American authorities cited by the plaintiff fully sustain this doctrine. that they had become owners in common of the vessel. dated March 16. would be barred from setting up that plea. The burden would then be cast upon the plaintiff to show the illegality of the arrangement. should they not have stipulated that such expenditures should be borne in whole or in part by the separate property of one of them. Memo auditor propriam turpitudinem allegans. on his part. shutting out from relief either of the two guilty parties to an illegal or vicious contract. The law in those islands applicable to the case is found in article 1305 of the Civil Code. the appellees must plead and prove that the same is illegal. Scudder vs. ART. if living. (Weston vs. 1415. Penniman. The conjugal partnership shall also be chargeable with anything which may have been given or promised by the husband alone to the children born of the marriage in order to obtain employment for them or give then. as his privies and successors in interest. Federal Case 12566. In the second place.
Articles 636. should be considered part of the donor's estate. the law asks no distinction between gratuitous transfers and conveyances for a consideration. solo la mujer o sus herederos pueden reclamar contra la valides de la donacion. que no ha variado de criterio y que para el las donaciones deben en todo equipararse a cualquier otro acto ilegal o frraudulento de caracter oneroso. The situation of the children and forced heirs of Lopez approximates that of the widow. y en armonia con este caracter. muestra. over and above the wishes of the deceased. y sus especiales y diversas circunstancias. they are barred from invoking the illegality of the donation.419: "Tambien se traera a colacion en el inventario de la sociedad el importe de las donaciones y enajenaciones que deban considerarse ilegales o fraudulentas.415.' (Debio tambien citarse el articulo 1. As privies of their parent. 1413. Conchita Liguez. como ya se ha dicho. 654) computed as provided in Articles 818 and 819. entendiendose que no le hay hasta. lo que era una limitacion general de todos los actos del marido.net "En resumen: el marido solo puede donar los bienes gananciales dentro de los limites marcados en el art. and bearing in mind that "collationable gifts" under Article 818 should include gifts made not only in favor of the forced heirs. the same should be governed by the rules of accession and possession in good faith. La donacioni reviste por tanto legalmente. 1. To determine the prejudice to the widow. The requisite data.net El Codigo. tanto que. una eficacia condicional. but even those made in favor of strangers. en cuenta lo dispuesto en la ley Hipotecaria. reducida a determinar si la distinta naturaleza entre los actos a titulo oneroso y los actos a titulo lucrativo. al decir en el art. teniendo. ni obtener en su consecuencia la mujer la dibida indemnizacion.. 5th Ed. are not available to us and necessitate a remand of the records to the court of origin that settled the estate of the late Salvador P. poniendo como segundo parrafo del articulo 1. only the court of origin has the requisite date to determine whether the donation is inofficious or not. In this regard. Hence. Para evitarlo en lo sucesivo. hacer constar ante los Tribunales su existencia y solicitor medidas de precaucion. puede la mujer. han de sufrir verdadero perjuicio. puede instar la declaracion de prodigalidad. durante el matrimonio inmediatamente al acto. the value of the property to herein appellant. deben fijarse los efectos de la misma con relacion a los adquirentes y a los terceros poseedores. sin embargo.e. terminada por cualquier causa la sociedad de gananciales. pues solo en su interes establece la prohibicion. Sin embargo. que es el que habla de donaciones.. no pueda imputarse lo donado al haber por cualquier concepto del marido. it being undisputed that the widow and heirs of Lopez were unaware of the donation in favor of the appellant when the improvements were made.lawphi1. o como limitacion de las enajenaciones u obligaciones a titulo oneroso. pueden motivar una solucion diferente en cuanto a la epoca en que la mujer he de reclamar y obtener la nulidad del acto.415. con sujecion al art. since the legitime is granted them by the law itself. para poder dejar sin efecto el acto. Para prevenir todo perjuicio. cuestion que no deja de ser interesantisima. 650-651. the forced heirs are entitled to have the donation set aside in so far as in officious: i. Puede la mujer como proprietaria hacer anular las donaciones aun durante el matrimonio? Esta es.413. it must be shown that the value of her share in the property donated can not be paid out of the husband's share of the community profits.413. but only in so far as it prejudices the interest of the wife. however. With regard to the improvements in the land in question. y hecha su liquidacion. 1. pp. en suma. y cuando las circunstancias lo requieran. 1. La mujer o sus herederos.)lawphi1. So that in computing the legitimes.
. Once again. as decided by the Supreme Court of Spain in its decisions of 4 May 1899 and 16 June 1902. But their right to a legitime out of his estate is not thereby affected. The text of the articles makes it plain that the donation made by the husband in contravention of law is not void in its entirety.ART. la cuestion. a pesar de la variacion que ha introducido en el proyecto de 1851. as Manresa points out (Commentaries. in excess of the portion of free disposal (Civil Code of 1889. en su caso. Lopez. In addition to his powers as manager the husband may for a valuable consideration alienate and encumber the property of the conjugal partnership without the consent of the wife. 652-653).
the appellant has forfeited her right to uphold the donation if the prejudice to the widow Maria Ngo resulting from the donation could be made good out of the husband's share in the conjugal profits. or irregular. the land donated is of the absolute ownership of the donees and consequently. So ordered. and again. unless an exception is proved which is based on some legal reason opportunely alleged by the donor or her heirs. Olbes. As we have ruled in Lopez vs. because that case involved a stimulated transfer that case have no effect. does not form a part of the property of the estate of the deceased Martina Lopez. relying on Galion vs. wherefore the action instituted demanding compliance with the contract. the decisions appealed from are reversed and set aside. First. The records are ordered remanded to the court of origin for further proceedings in accordance with this opinion. 15 Phil. upon proper liquidation. 43. the delivery by the deforciant of the land donated. Lopez in July 1943. This line of argument overlooks the capital fact that in 1943. Lopez or the legitimes of the forced heirs of the latter. Garayes. contend that by her failure to appear at the liquidation proceedings of the estate of Salvador P. because the transferee in the Galion case took the property subject to lis pendens notice. Hence. 53 Phil. is not in point. and third. The case of Galion vs. prohibited to disturb the right of the donees. Nor could she be properly expected to intervene in the settlement of the estate of Lopez: first. So long as the donation in question has not been judicially proved and declared to be null. supra. appellant was still a minor of sixteen. Gayares. Costs against appellees.The appellees. second. It is also argued that appellant was guilty of laches in failing to enforce her rights as donee until 1951. and the donor having been duly notified of said acceptance. that in this case does not exist. 547-548: The prima facie donation inter vivos and its acceptance by the donees having been proved by means of a public instrument. or that it be. and she did not reach the age of majority until 1948. and the appellant Conchita Liguez declared entitled to so much of the donated property as may be found. the contract is perfect and obligatory and it is perfectly in order to demand its fulfillment. inefficacious. should not be considered as incidental to the probate proceedings aforementioned. not to prejudice the share of the widow Maria Ngo in the conjugal partnership with Salvador P. because she was a minor during the great part of the proceedings. while a donation with illegal causa may produce effects under certain circumstances where the parties are not of equal guilt. because the donation did not make her a creditor of the estate. her action in 1951 was only delayed three years.
. In view of the foregoing. because she was not given notice thereof .
to rescind and cancel the said donation. if within a
. has deprived the actor (donor) of the right of option and has imposed upon him the exercise of one of the alternative rights which are given to him by law. 1885. and in the decision of the court it is stated that there were no fit terms in law to value or consider this cause of action. Plaintiff-Appellee. inasmuch as the only thing appearing in the record of the case was from what time the donee had not comply with the same. and more convenient and practicable. and this is burdensome enough. for the revocation of the donation and the recovery of the thing donated. This is a written exception of the appellee wherein exception is entered against the final decision of this court together with appellee's petition for a rehearing of this cause. In contracts containing a condition precedent. After review of the grounds upon which this last petition is based we find: Against the first ground: That the conditions under which the donor made the donation are not precedent. "resolutorias. and establishes this doctrine of jurisprudence: "That when a conditional donation is made. basing this revocation on the failure to comply with the conditions imposed. (b) no to use the said lot for any other purpose than in beautifying the city. and the court understood perfectly well that the actor (donor) chose that option. and the other the right to revoke or rescind that donation. hands down a decision entirely applicable to the donation. in decision. that is. and the court in its decision has no t denied to the appellee the option of exercising either one or the other of the two rights. with the lot donated." Against the third and fourth grounds: The donor. THE MUNICIPAL BOARD OF MANILA. p. What the actor (donor) has done is to elect his right in the revocation of the donation. to which end he imposed upon the municipality the obligation of acquiring the lots adjoining the lot donated in sufficient number to form. Defendant-Appellant. made on June 16. and without perfecting and consummating the gift or donation. the subject-matter in question herein. and it would not have been possible to have complied with such conditions without the delivery of the lot having first been made the donor and the donee put in possession of the same. one to compel the donee to comply with the conditions imposed in the donation or gift. in what location said lots are to be or in what direction they shall run in forming. and this having been so understood by the court. this should not be taken into consideration as a condition but as a mere obligation. all of which is not convenient to comply with by reason of being burdensome and orenous.ENRIQUE MARIA BARRETTO. with respect to the donation of the subject-matter herein. vs. that is to say. 2. The court is completely in error wherein it. (Complain IV. It is evident that such obligation could only be considered a condition or obligation in a resolutoria sense of the donation or gift when not complied with in its place and time. Such conditions are: (a) No to erect any building on the lot donated. The supreme court of Spain in a judgment of January 7. The compliance with the obligation to acquire the adjoining lots in sufficient numbers to form or make a public plaza can be considered even less. and this notwithstanding that the donor delivered to the donee the land donated. a public plaza with gardens and streets. 1861. claims that he is in the exercise of two rights. imposing in addition thereto a burden on the donee. that is to say. no right or action is given or acquired until such condition is complied with. nor could the value of such lots be determined so that the donee might judge whether such donation or gift was as act of liberality or a reciprocal contract. before the compliance with the condition is accomplished there exists nothing but the hope of acquiring such right. the public plaza. nor what lots. together with the lot donated." Against the second ground: It is not proven that the two conditions (a) and (b) have not been complied with. when the time arrives.) In the two conditions (a) and (b) were precedent the delivery of the lot would have been delayed and retarded until such times as the donee had complied with such conditions. therefore. This is a burden or obligation rather than a condition precedent and it is indefinite in that the number of lots to be acquired are not determined. appellee herein. it has not been proven that the donee erected any building on the lot donated or that the lot has been used for any other object. That two conditions are. it was not proper to impose upon the actor (donor) the burden of obligation of selecting by said donor. it being an obligation or promise to accomplish a thing or more value in itself than the value of the thing donated. which conditions are certainly negative and not consistent with a failure to perform or comply with the same. bill of exceptions. the nonfulfillment of which can not be taken advantage of by the person interested in the inefficacy of said donation. if there was or was not a failure to comply with the conditions imposed in the donation.
it is because that. And it is not rigorously or absolutely certain that law 6 of title 4 of the fifth Partida. in all events." does not authorize that one or another thing be done. the court. the courts will then fix such maturity or time. It was necessary. that the donation be rescind and canceled. that is from the falling due of the obligation to perform a given act. 1889. and it is impossible. it is not possible to determine the moment he becomes delinquent. because in obligations calling for the fulfillment of certain things. according to law." (Title 4. he has shown that he understood that there were no more than two conditions imposed. and indefinite obligation. where there is no stipulations as to the majority of an obligation. By this is seen the manifest necessity of a term or period within which the donee should comply with such a burden some. in any way or manner. but with respect to which. What the court has done is put the things in a state or condition whereby the parties could say what they can not say at this time . in such case. taking into consideration the decision of the supreme court of Spain of October 12. from and after October. in the event of the donee not doing so. and. If the defendant has alleged that he has complied with the conditions imposed. Partida 5. but not known within what time or when such obligation should be complied with in full accomplishment of the same." So the phrase of the law. within ten or within twenty. Judgment or relief can not be had revoking or taking away a condition or a right without it having first been evidence or proven that an obligation has not been complied with. to have expressed a precise period or time from which the fact of failure to comply with the obligation could have been made known and from which an action could have been made effective.
. inasmuch as the court has not given a time or period within which the obligations or conditions as imposed by the plaintiff can now be complied with and this against the claims of plaintiff. or the defense of the one to the other. and. although the action is borne from the date of the contract yet is not effective until the falling due of the obligation. when it is simply known from what time the obligation should be complied with. while no expressed in the decision of the court it is implied that the actor (donor) worked without being with right of action. which in reality is true. "and in case of noncompliance or in case of bad performance of the same. 1885. and in failing to comply with an obligation becoming liable therefor by reason of the nonexecution of the obligation not complied with. which says: "A donation can not be revoked for the person or because the donee be delinquent in the compliance of the accepted obligations. whatever may be its true nature. vague. to establish or find in a judgment.year. without being arbitrary. in accordance with the provision of law 6 of the same title and Partida. but that both should be done. if the donor does not compel the compliance of the same judicially. the only law applicable to this case. and such finding can be arrived at only when it is known from what time the obligation has not been complied with and from what date the creditor has the right of action. one or the other can not be determined but form a given moment. he can be compelled to do that which he agreed or promised to do. Therefore. and that the only in case of denial to so do. that is to say. 1858. should proceed with the cancellation of the donation. there are no fit terms or conditions expressed whereby it can be found or seen that such obligation has not been complied with or form what time an obligation of an indefinite term and having no maturity has not been fulfilled or complied with. or cancel and rescind the donation made. during the time that judicial remedy is not had providing for the improvidence or omission of the parties or mutual trust or confidence. in other words.one thing is that the condition have not been complied with. it. indeterminate. the other. throughout the litigations or case. not having been in force and effect at that time but after. grants an alternative or optional right. without taking into consideration the obligation imposed. Against the fifth and sixth grounds: From the fact that the court has not declared the donation null or rescinded by reason of the nonexistence of a public instrument. According to the terms of the said decision: "He should have demanded the compliance therewith.) In accordance with this decision the complaint should have been drawn in the sense of asking that the donee be compelled to comply with the obligation to purchase the adjoining lots in sufficient number to form a public plaza. it can not be argued that the obligated party being at this time still with the power and right to comply within an indefinite time with said condition.a thing. The court is also an error in granting a thing not prayed for by the defendant. for the reason that he Civil Code with respect to the form of this donation could not prevail or govern a similar act carried out and executed in June. in accordance with the terms and conditions of the offer of the donor. that the conditions have been complied with . has not infringed or violated article 633 of the Civil Code. and. when the debtor (obligated party) has no fixed time within which he should comply with an obligations.
100. Sanchez Roman. Therefore. the facts are evident in the record." (5 Manresa. according to the decision of the supreme court of Spain. is subject to alteration and change according to quality and the needs of exigencies of the market. title 4 of the fifth Partida. if there had been no acceptance and notification of the acceptance and mutual consent and understanding between the donor and donee. and the sort or kind is not of any of the classes or species included or intended under that law. an equivalent which would be determined judicially in accordance with the many decisions of the supreme court of Spain. If it is expressed with all precision in the Civil Code as to the necessity of a public instrument for certain donation referred to in the former legislation.) Nor can the authorities Laserna and Montalban. as he pretends and alleges. that there are no grounds or sufficient reason for the granting of this petition. we find. which value. or how the thing donated came to be in the possession of the donee for the large space or period of time as is alleged and set forth in the same complaint. and there is not the least proof in this record that the land donated was worth more than 500 maravidesis in gold. that the Partidas required and exacted a letter (instrument) for these donations (those donations exceeding in value more than 500 maravedises in god). "the only thing that appears clear in the law. that which is defined in said law as a public instrument.Law 9. the subject-matter herein. in generic conception. according to law 1 of title 18 of the third Partida. "that a public instrument would be required as necessary. the only point to be considered in this decision. title 4 of the fifth Partida is not violated or infringed if it does not appear that the sum donated exceed that of 500 maravedises in gold. and. or this sums equivalent in money of the country. carta (letter) is. at the present time beyond all dispute the only thing disputable being the compliance of one obligation imposed in the donation in a resolutorio manner. written document and the exhibition of a public instrument for proper judicial approbation when the thing donated has for its value more than 500 maravedises (old Spanish coins) in gold. That which is certain is that the exhibition of the public instrument or judicial approbation or approval was necessary for that class of donations. the delivery of the titles of the property. except for the purpose of effecting the inscription or registry in the office of the registrar of properties. " it can not be affirmed with certainty. of October 14. that is to say. which said law permits a donation without the necessity of exhibiting a public instrument before a court and for not having verified the price or value of the wheat donated at the time or period of the contract. More than that. that the donation and ownership of thing donated was transmitted and transferred. There is no doubt. did not allege the absence of a public instrument (the donation having been made and consummated by means of a private document) but alleged only the necessity of the judicial approval or approbation." according to Manresa. We can not conceive how the appellee could have made the delivery of the land." And it must be taken into consideration in this decision that the party who interposed an abrogation of annulment under the direction and advice of a very reputable attorney. and this." says Manresa. the thing donated possessed by the donee under a title of ownership and it is his. and that which is a public instrument. is the law applicable to the form of the donation. 1884. after taking into consideration the protest and exception against the decision herein. but it is not very clear as to whether this word alluded or referred only to the written form or particularly to the public document or instrument. and others accept the opinion of others authorities who interpret the word carta (letter) to mean a public instrument. The petitions is denied with the costs against the petitioner
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. when. which law exacts and requires a letter (carta) or holding or knowledge of a higher court." he continues. in order to judge the donation. Against the law ground relative to the acceptance. It is not logical to infer in these premises that the donation was never accomplished. as is the case with all merchandise. and the petition praying for a rehearing. the donees. "law 9. but. to the contrary.