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G.R. No. 178906; February 18, 2009 - Digest Elvira Arangote vs.

Spouses Martin and Lourdes Maglunob and Romeo Salido; FACTS: Elvira Arangote acquired the subject parcel of land from Esperanza Maglunob, who is grand aunt of respondents Martin Maglunob and Romeo Salido. In June 1986, Esperenza executed an affidavit in which she renounced her rights, share and participation in the land in favor of Elvira and her husband. It appears that the lot was not exclusive property of Esperanza but also of the other heirs of Martin I whom she r e p r e s e n t e d i n t h e p a r t i t i o n a g r e e m e n t . E l v i r a a n d h e r husband, Ray constructed a house on the land in 1989 and in 1993, OCT was issued in her name by the DAR. However, respondents with the help of hired persons entered the property and built a wall behind and in front of Elviras house. Elvira and Ray sued respondents for quieting of title and declaration of ownership. Respondents averred that they were co-owners of the land with Esperanza who allegedly inherited the land from Martin 1 together with Tomas and Inocencia (Martin 2s and Romeos predecessor in interest). They argued that Esperanza could not have validly waived her rights in favor of Elvira and Ray. M C T C r u l e d f o r E l v i r a . R T C r e v e r s e d M C T C a n d d e c l a r e d respondents lawful owners of the land together with the other heirs of Martin I. Elvira went to the CA but the CA affirmed the RTC decision. Before SC, Elvira argued that both RTC and CA erred in declaring the affidavit of Esperanza void because it is a valid and binding proof of transfer of ownership of the subject property as it was coupled with actual delivery. ISSUE: Whether or not the donation to Elvira and her husband is valid. HELD: Supreme Court affirmed the decision of CA. SC ruled that the affidavit executed by Esperanza wherein she r e n o u n c e d , r e l i n q u i s h e d a n d w a i v e d a l l h e r r i gh t s , s h a r e , i n t e r e s t a n d participation in the subject property in favor of Elvira and Ray is in fact a donation. Thus, it should have complied with the requirements of Article 749 of the Civil Code. A simple donation of real property to be valid: 1) Must be made in a public instrument; 2) It must be accepted, which must be in the same deed of donation or in a separate public instrument; 3) If the acceptance is made in a separate instrument, the donor must be notified in authentic form and the same must be noted in both instruments. The affidavit executed by Esperanza relinquishing her rights, share and participation over the property in favor of Elvira suffered from legal infirmities. In Sumipat vs. Banga, the Court ruled that title to immovable does not pass from the donor to the done by virtue of a Deed of Donation until and unless it has been accepted in a public instrument and the donor duly notified thereof. In this case, the acceptance of the donation was not made by Elvira either in the same affidavit or in a separate public instrument. Neither was there notice of acceptance given to the donor, therefore the donation is void.

References from SC Decision:


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Penned by Associate Justice Antonio L. Villamor with Associate Justices Arsenio J. Magpale and Marlene Gonzales-Sison, concurring; rollo, pp. 20-31. Penned by Associate Justice Antonio L. Villamor with Associate Justices Pampio A. Abarintos and Agustin S. Dizon, concurring; rollo, pp. 40-41. Penned by Judge Marietta J. Homena-Valencia; rollo, pp. 96-105. Penned by Designated Judge Raul C. Barrios; CA rollo, pp. 29-34. In its Decision dated 12 September 2000, the RTC likewise declared the other heirs of Martin Maglunob (the greatgrandfather of herein respondent Martin Maglunob) as the lawful owners and possessors of the subject property despite the fact that they are not even parties to the case. Rollo, p. 56. Id. at 44-51. CA rollo, pp. 144-146. Id. at 143. Rollo, pp. 54-55. Id. at 53. CA rollo, p. 135. Id. at 34. Rollo, pp. 104-105. CA rollo, pp. 15-23. In the RTC Decision dated 12 September 2000, the RTC treated the Affidavit executed by Esperanza in favor of the petitioner and her husband as a Donation because the intent of Esperanza in executing such Affidavit is to donate the subject property to the petitioner and her husband. CA rollo, pp. 25-26. The Deed of Acceptance was signed only by the petitioner. In the said Deed of Acceptance, however, petitioner accepted the donation not only for herself but also in behalf of her husband. CA rollo, p. 28. Id. at 42. On 21 April 1994, Ray Mars E. Arangote, herein petitioner Elvira T. Arangotes husband, executed a Special Power of Attorney in her favor to represent him in any proceedings involving the subject property. The case before the lower courts, however, was still entitled Sps. Ray Mars E. Arangote and Elvira T. Arangote v. Sps. Martin Maglunob and Lourdes S. Maglunob and Romeo Salido. But, when the case was elevated to this Court, it was only Elvira T. Arangote who stood as petitioner. In petitioners Memorandum she stated almost the same issues she had mentioned in her Petition before the Court of Appeals. (Rollo, p. 14.) Local Superior of the Servants of Charity (Guanellians), Inc. v. Jody King Construction and Development Corporation, G.R. No. 141715, 12 October 2005, 472 SCRA 445, 451. Recognized exceptions to this rule are: (1) when the findings are grounded entirely on speculation, surmises or conjectures; (2) when the inference made is manifestly mistaken, absurd or impossible; (3) when there is grave abuse of discretion; (4) when the judgment is based on misapprehension of facts; (5) when the finding of facts are conflicting; (6) when in making its findings the Court of Appeals went beyond the issues of the case, or its findings are contrary to the admissions of both the appellee and the appellant; (7) when the findings are contrary to the trial court; (8) when the findings are conclusions without citation of specific evidence on which they are based; (9) when the facts set forth in the petition as well as in the petitioners main and reply briefs are not disputed by the respondent; (10) when the findings of fact are premised on the supposed absence of evidence and contradicted by the evidence on record; or (11) when the Court of Appeals manifestly overlooked certain relevant facts not disputed by the parties, which, if properly considered, would justify a different conclusion. (Langkaan Realty Development, Inc. v. United Coconut Planters Bank, 400 Phil. 1349, 1356-1357 [2000]; Nokom v. National Labor Relations Commission, 390 Phil. 1228, 1243 [2000]; Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Embroidery and Garments Industries [Phils.], Inc., 364 Phil. 541, 546-547 [1999]; Sta. Maria v. Court of Appeals, 349 Phil. 275, 282-283 [1998]; Almendrala v. Ngo, G.R. No. 142408, 30 September 2005, 471 SCRA 311, 322.) It consists of 7,176 square meters. CA rollo, pp. 161-164. Id. at 166. Id. at 170. Id. at 172. The heirs of Martin I other than the respondents are the other great-grandchildren of Martin I, namely: Jerry, Benita, Feliciano, Andrew, Abdon, Gilbert, Enrique, Tomas, Donato, Felicidad, and Prescila, all surnamed Maglunob. His cousins, son, granddaughters, and grandsons. Rollo, p. 103. CA rollo, p. 147. It consists of 7,176 square meters. CA rollo, p. 53. Supra note 25. G.R. No. 155810, 13 August 2004, 436 SCRA 521. J.L.T. Agro, Inc. v. Balansag, G.R. No. 141882, 11 March 2005, 453 SCRA 211, 233-234. CA rollo, p. 24. Id. at 25-26. Lagazo v. Court of Appeals, 350 Phil. 449, 462 (1998). Natalia Realty Corporation v. Vallez, G.R. Nos. 78290-94, 23 May 1989, 173 SCRA 534, 542; Cimafranca v. Intermediate Appellate Court, G.R. No. L-68687, 31 January 1987, 147 SCRA 611, 621; Barrios v. Court of Appeals, 168 Phil. 587, 595 (1977); Magay v. Estanislao, G.R. No. L-28975, 27 February 1976, 69 SCRA 456, 458. Leyson. v. Bontuyan, G.R. No. 156357, 18 February 2005, 453 SCRA 94, 112. Supra note 34.

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The basic requirements under Republic Act No. 6657 in order that the Certificate of Land Ownership may be awarded to the applicant are: (1) he/she must be a qualified beneficiary, i.e., he/she she must be an agricultural lessee and share tenant, regular farmworker, seasonal farmworkers, or any other farmworker, actual tiller or occupant of a public land, collective or cooperative of the above beneficiary, or any other person directly working on the land; and (2) he/she must have willingness, attitude, and ability to cultivate and make the land as productive as possible (Section 22, Republic Act No. 6657). Ballesteros v. Abion, G.R. No. 143361, 9 February 2006, 482 SCRA 23, 34-35. Philippine National Bank v. De Jesus, 458 Phil. 454, 459 (2003). Leyson. v. Bontuyan, supra note 43 at 113. Id. De Vera-Cruz v. Miguel, G.R. No. 144103, 31 August 2005, 468 SCRA