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Lagazo vs CA Case Digest

287 SCRA 18
FACTS: Catalina Jacob Vda. de Reyes, a widow and
grandmother of plaintiff-appellee, was awarded a 60.10square meter lot which is a portion of the Monserrat Estate
located in Old Sta. Mesa, Manila. 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. Catalina Jacob constructed a house on the lot.
Shortly before she left for Canada where she is now a
permanent resident, Catalina Jacob executed a special power
of attorney in favor of her son-in-law Eduardo B. Espaol
authorizing him to execute all documents necessary for the
final adjudication of her claim as awardee of the lot.

Due to the failure of Eduardo B. Espaol to accomplish the

purpose of the power of attorney granted to him, Catalina
Jacob revoked said authority in an instrument executed in
Canada. Simultaneous with the revocation, Catalina Jacob
executed another power of attorney of the same tenor in
favor plaintiff-appellee.

Catalina Jacob executed in Canada a Deed of Donation over

the subject lot in favor of plaintiff-appellee. Following the
donation, plaintiff-appellee checked with the Register of
Deeds and found out that the property was in the delinquent
list, so that he paid the installments in arrears and the
remaining balance on the lot and declared the said property
in the name of Catalina Jacob.

Plaintiff-appellee thereafter sent a demand letter to

defendant-appellant asking him to vacate the premises. A
similar letter was sent by plaintiff-appellees counsel to
defendant. However, defendant-appellant refused to vacate
the premises claiming ownership thereof. Hence, plaintiffappellee instituted the complaint for recovery of possession
and damages against defendant-appellant.

Petitioner contends that the burdens, charges or conditions

imposed upon a donation need not be stated on the deed of
donation itself. Thus, although the deed did not categorically
impose any charge, burden or condition to be satisfied by
him, 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. Being an onerous donation,
his acceptance thereof may be express or implied, as
provided under Art. 1320 of the Civil Code, and need not
comply with the formalities required by Art. 749 of the same
code. 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.

1. Where the deed of donation did not expressly impose any
burden the expressed consideration being purely one of

liberality and generosity but the recipient actually paid

charges imposed on the property like land taxes and
installment arrearages, may the donation be deemed
onerous and thus governed by the law on ordinary contracts?

2. Where the acceptance of a donation was made in a

separate instrument but not formally communicated to the
donor, may the donation be nonetheless considered
complete, valid and subsisting?

1. NO. At the outset, let us differentiate between a simple
donation and an onerous one. A simple
donation is one whose cause is pure liberality (no strings
attached), while an onerous donation is one which is subject
to burdens, charges or future services equal to or more in
value than the thing donated. Under Article 733 of the Civil
Code, donations with an onerous cause shall be governed by
the rules on contracts; hence, the formalities required for a
valid simple donation are not applicable.

We rule that the donation was simple, not onerous. Even

conceding that petitioners full payment of the purchase
price of the lot might have been a burden to him, such
payment was not however imposed by the donor as a
condition for the donation.

It is clear that the donor did not have any intention to burden
or charge petitioner as the donee. The words in the deed are
in fact typical of a pure donation. We agree with Respondent
Court that the payments made by petitioner were merely his
voluntary acts. This much can be gathered from his
testimony in court, in which he never even claimed that a
burden or charge had been imposed by his grandmother.

The payments even seem to have been made pursuant to

the power of attorney executed by Catalina Reyes in favor of
petitioner, her grandson, authorizing him to execute acts
necessary for the fulfillment of her obligations. Nothing in
the records shows that such acts were meant to be a burden
in the donation.

2. NO. As a pure or simple donation, the provisions of the

civil code apply. The donation, following the theory of
cognition (Article 1319, Civil Code), is perfected only upon
the moment the donor knows of the acceptance by the
donee. Furthermore, [i]f the acceptance is made in a
separate instrument, the donor shall be notified thereof in an
authentic form, and this step shall be noted in both

Acceptance of the donation by the donee is, therefore,

indispensable; its absence makes the donation null and void

Bonsato vs CA
95 PHIL 481
FACTS: The case was initiated in the Court of First Instance
of Pangasinan, by respondents Josefa Utea and other heirs of
Domingo Bonsato and his wife Andrea Nacario, both
deceased. Their complaint (for annulment and damages)
charged that on the first day of December, 1949, Domingo
Bonsato, then already a widower, had been induced and
deceived into signing two notarial deeds of donations in
favor of his brother Juan Bonsato and of his nephew Felipe
Bonsato, respectively, transferring to them several parcels of
land situated in the municipalities of Mabini and Burgos,
Province of Pangasinan, both donations having been duly
accepted in the same act and documents. Plaintiffs likewise
charged that the donations were mortis causa and void for
lack of the requisite formalities. The defendants, Juan
Bonsato and Felipe Bonsato, answered averring that the
donations made in their favor were voluntarily executed in
consideration of past services rendered by them to the late
Domingo Bonsato; that the same were executed freely
without the use of force and violence, misrepresentation or
intimidation; and prayed for the dismissal of the case.
After trial, the CFI rendered its decision finding that the
deeds of donation were executed by the donor while the
latter was of sound mind, without pressure or intimidation;
that the deeds were of donation inter vivos without any
condition making their validity or efficacy dependent upon
the death of the donor; but as the properties donated were
presumptively conjugal, having been acquired during the
coverture of Domingo Bonsato and his wife Andrea Nacario,
the donations were only valid as to an undivided one-half
share in the three parcels of land described therein.

ISSUE: W/N the donation was a donation mortis causa or a

donation inter vivos?

HELD: Donation inter vivos. If it was a donation mortis

causa, then the documents should reveal any or all of the
following characteristics:
(1) Convey no title or ownership to the transferee before the
death of the transferor; or, what amounts to the same thing,
that the transferor should retain the ownership (full or
naked) and control of the property while alive (Vidal vs.
Posadas, 58 Phil., 108; Guzman vs. Ibea, 67 Phil., 633);

(2) That before his death, the transfer should be revocable

by the transferor at will, ad nutum; but revocability may be
provided for indirectly by means of a reserved power in the
donor to dispose of the properties conveyed (Bautista vs.
L-4326, November 18, 1952);
(3) That the transfer should be void if the transferor should
survive the transferee.
None of these characteristics is discernible in the deeds of
donation executed by the late Domingo Bonsato. The donor
only reserved for himself, during his lifetime, the owners
share of the fruits or produce (de los productos mientras
viva el donante tomara la parte que corresponde como
dueo), a reservation that would be unnecessary if the
ownership of the donated property remained with the donor.
Most significant is the absence of stipulation that the donor
could revoke the donations; on the contrary, the deeds
expressly declare them to be irrevocable, a quality
absolutely incompatible with the idea of conveyances mortis
causa where revocability is of the essence of the act, to the
extent that a testator can not lawfully waive or restrict his
right of revocation (Old Civil Code, Art. 737; New Civil Code,
Art. 828).

It is true that the last paragraph in each donation contains

the phrase that after the death of the donor the aforesaid
donation shall become effective (que despues de la muerte
del donante entrara en vigor dicha donacion). However,
said expression must be construed together with the rest of
the paragraph, and thus taken, its meaning clearly appears
to be that after the donors death, the donation will take
effect so as to make the donees the absolute owners of the
donated property, free from all liens and encumbrances; for
it must be remembered that the donor reserved for himself a
share of the fruits of the land donated. Such reservation
constituted a charge or encumbrance that would disappear
upon the donors death, when full title would become vested
in the donees.


On February 20, 1981, Catalina Quilala executed
a Donation of Real Property Inter Vivos" in favor of Violeta
Quilala over a parcel of land located in Sta. Cruz, Manila,
containing an area of 94 square meters, and registered in
her name under Transfer Certificate of Title No. 17214 of the

Register of Deeds for Manila. The deed of donation was

registered with the Register of Deeds and, in due course, TCT
No. 17214 was cancelled and TCT No. 143015 was issued in
the name of Violeta Quilala. On November 7, 1983, Catalina
Quilala died. Violeta Quilala likewise died on May 22, 1984.
Petitioner Ricky Quilala alleges that he is the surviving son of
Violeta Quilala. The trial court found that the deed
of donation, although signed by both Catalina and Violeta,
was acknowledged before a notary public only by the donor,

Whether or not the donation made by Catalina to Violeta
Whether or not the signing on the wrong side of the page of
the document invalidates it?

Petitioner and Serafin Jaranilla were co-owners of a parcel of
land with an area of 4.6 hectares, identified as Lot No. 1, Pcs06-000744 (Lot No. 1, for brevity), situated in Brgy. Lublub,
Municipality of Dumangas, Iloilo. Said property forms part of
Lots No. 4181 and 4183 of the Dumangas Cadastre. Then
barangay captain Jose Militar accepted the donation in behalf
of Brgy. Lublub. Sometime in June 1989, petitioner executed
another deed [5] donating to Brgy. Lublub, represented by its
incumbent barangay captain, the very same area he and
Serafin Jaranilla had earlier donated to the same donee. The
second deed of donation contained exactly the same
conditions expressly set forth in the first. On May 6, 1998, in
the Regional Trial Court (RTC) at Iloilo City, petitioner filed
against Brgy. Lublub a complaint for Quieting of Title and
Recovery of Possession With Damages involving the 4.6hectare area he had earlier donated. Basically, petitioner
claimed that the donation in question had ceased to be
effective, the donee barangay having failed to comply with
the conditions of the donation.

The Supreme Court held that the deed
of donation contained the number of the certificate of title as
well as the technical description as the real property
donated. It stipulated that the donation was made for and in
consideration of the "love and affection which the DONEE
inspires in the DONOR, and as an act of liberality and
generosity." This was sufficient cause for a donation.
Indeed, donation is legally defined as "an act of liberality
whereby a person disposes gratuitously of a thing or right in
favor of another, who accepts it.
Simply put, the specification of the location of the
signature is merely directory. The fact that one of the parties
signs on the wrong side of the page, does not invalidate the
document. The purpose of authenticating the page is served,
and the requirement in the above-quoted provision is
deemed substantially complied with.
In the same vein, the lack of an acknowledgment
by the donee before the notary public does not also render
the donation null and void. The instrument should be treated
in its entirety. It cannot be considered a private document in
part and a public document in another part. The fact that it
was acknowledged before a notary public converts the deed
of donation in its entirety a public instrument. The fact that
the donee was not mentioned by the notary public in the
acknowledgment is of no moment. To be sure, it is the
conveyance that should be acknowledged as a free and
voluntary act. In any event, the donee signed on the second
page, which contains the Acknowledgment only. Her
acceptance, which is explicitly set forth on the first page of
the notarized deed of donation, was made in a public

2.DOLAR V. LUBLUB (2005)

Whether or not his action is one for revocation of

donation instead of for quieting of title; whether or not the
action for quieting has prescribed.

Whether or not the deed of donation in question is (a)

valid for defective acceptance and/or (b) no longer effective
by reason of the automatic reversion clause therein.

The Supreme Court held that the donation being
valid and effective, virtually forecloses any claim which
petitioner may have over the donated property against the
donee and other occupants thereof, and his action to quiet
title has no merit. Militar was clothed with authority to
accept the donation for respondent barangay. On this point,
petitioner cites Section 88 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 337 [16] the law then in force - and Sections 91 and 389 the Local
Government Code of 1991. In gist, these provisions empower
the punongbarangay to enter into contracts for the barangay
upon authorization of the Sangguniang Barangay, or, in the
alternative, theSanggunian may authorize the barangay
head to enter into contracts for the barangay.
When a deed of donation expressly provides for automatic
revocation and reversion of the property donated, the rules
on contract and the general rules on prescription should
apply, and not Article 764 of the Civil Code. Since Article
1306 of said Code authorizes the parties to a contract to
establish such stipulations, . . . not contrary to law, . . . public
order or public policy, we are of the opinion that, at the very
least, that stipulation of the parties providing for automatic
revocation of the deed of donation, without prior judicial
action for that purpose, is valid subject to the determination
of the propriety of the rescission sought. Where such
propriety is sustained, the decision of the court will be

merely declaratory of the revocation, but it is not in itself the

revocatory act. In the case at bench, it cannot be gainsaid
that respondent barangay denied or challenged the
purported revocation of the donation
G.R. No. 155080 February 5, 2004

On August 25, 1947, Fermina Calicdan executed a

deed of donation whereby she conveyed a parcel of land to
respondent Silverio Cendaa, who immediately entered into
possession of the land, built a fence around the land and
constructed a two-storey residential house thereon. He
occupied the land from 1949 until his death in 1998. On June
1992, petitioner, through her legal guardian, filed a
complaint for "Recovery of Ownership, Possession and
Damages" against the respondent, alleging that the donation
was void; that respondent took advantage of her
incompetence in acquiring the land; and that she merely
tolerated respondents possession of the land as well as the
construction of his house thereon.
In his Answer, respondent alleged that the land
was donated to him by Fermina in 1947; and that he had
been publicly, peacefully, continuously, and adversely in
possession of the land for a period of 45 years. Moreover, he
argued that the complaint was barred by prior judgment in
the special proceedings for the "Inventory of Properties of
Incompetent Soledad Calicdan", where the court decreed the
exclusion of the land from the inventory of properties of the
petitioner. The trial court ruled in favor of the petitioner,
while the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court's decision.

Whether or not the donation is valid.

The trial court found the donation of the land void
because Fermina was not the owner thereof, considering that
it was inherited by Sixto Calicdan from his parents. Thus, the
land was not part of the conjugal property of the spouses
Sixto and Fermina Calicdan, because under the Spanish Civil
Code, the law applicable when Sixto died in 1941, the
surviving spouse had a right of usufruct only over the estate
of the deceased spouse. Consequently, respondent, who
derived his rights from Fermina, only acquired the right of
usufruct as it was the only right which the latter could
After a review of the evidence on record, we find that the
Court of Appeals ruling that the donation was valid was not
supported by convincing proof. Respondent admitted during
the cross examination that he had no personal knowledge of
whether Sixto Calicdan in fact purchased the subject land
from Felomino Bautista.

Arcaba vs. Tabancura Vda De Batocael
GR No. 146683, November 22, 2001

Francisco Comille and his wife Zosima Montallana became

the registered owners of Lot No. 437-A located at Balintawak
St. and Rizal Avenue in Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte in
January 1956. Zosima died in 1980 hence Francisco and his
mother in law executed a deed of extrajudicial partition with
waiver of rights, where the latter waived her share consisting
of of the property in favor of Francisco. Since Francisco do
not have any children to take care of him after his
retirement, he asked Leticia, his niece, Leticias cousin,
Luzviminda and Cirila Arcaba, the petitioner, who was then a
widow and took care of Franciscos house as well as the store
According to Leticia, Francisco and Cirila were lovers since
they slept in the same room. On the other hand, Erlinda
Tabancura, another niece of Francisco claimed that the latter
told her that Cirila was his mistress. However, Cirila
defensed herself that she was a mere helper who could enter
the masters bedroom when Francisco asked her to and that
Francisco was too old for her. She denied having sexual
intercourse with Francisco. When the nieces got married,
Cirila who was then 34 year-old widow started working for
Francisco who was 75 year old widower. The latter did not
pay him any wages as househelper though her family was
provided with food and lodging.
Franciscos health
deteriorated and became bedridden. Tabancura testified
that Franciscos only source of income was the rentals from
his lot near the public streets.

In January 1991, few months before Francisco died, he

executed a Deed of Donation Inter Vivos where he ceded a
portion of Lot 437-A composed of 150 sq m., together with
his house to Cirila who accepted the same. The larger
portion of 268 sq m. was left under his name. This was
made in consideration of the 10 year of faithful services of
the petitioner. Atty Lacaya notarized the deed and was later
registered by Cirila as its absolute owner.
In Octoer 1991, Francisco died and in 1993, the lot received
by Cirila had a market value of P57,105 and assessed value
of P28,550. The decedents nephews and nieces and his
heirs by intestate succession alleged that Cirila was the
common-law wife of Francisco.
ISSUE: Whether or not the deed of donation inter vivos
executed by Francisco in Arcabas favor was valid.

The court in this case considered a sufficient proof of
common law relationship wherein donation is not valid. The
conclusion was based on the testimony of Tabancura and
certain documents bearing the signature of Cirila Comille
such as application for business permit, sanitary permit and
the death certificate of Francisco. Also, the fact that Cirila
did not demand her wages is an indication that she was not
simply a caregiver employee.
Cohabitation means more than sexual intercourse, especially
when one of the parties is already old and may no longer be
interested in sex at the very least, cohabitation is a public

assumption of men and women holding themselves out to

the public as such.
Hence, the deed of donation by Francisco in favor of Cirila is
void under Art. 87 of the Family Code.

Imperial v. CA
GR No. 112483, October 8, 1999
In 1951, Leoncio sold his 32, 837m parcel of land to his
acknowledged natural son Eloy Imperial. However, in 1953,
Leoncio filed a copmplaint for annulment of the sale alleging
that he was deceived by his son. They entered into a
compromise agreement that Leoncio will recognize the
validity and legality of the sale but Eloy has to sold the
1000m to Leoncio. In 1962, Leoncio died and Victor,
his adopted child, substituted him in the execution of the
compromise agreement. However, in 1977, Victor died single
and without issue. After 4 years, Ricardo, Victorss natural
father, died too. Cesar and Trasa, children of Ricardo, filed a
complaint for annulment of the donation. A motion to
dismiss was filed on the ground of res judicata. The trial
court dismissed the case. On appeal, the CA reversed the
ruling of the trial court and remanded the case for further
proceedings. Cesar and Teresa filed an AmendedComplaint
alleging that the conveyance impaired the legitime of Victor.
The RTC ruled that the donation is inofficiousimparing the
legitime of Victor. CA affirmed in toto the decision of the RTC.
Whether or not the action for inofficious donation has
Yes. The Supreme court applied Article 1144 of the Civil Code
which atates that actions upon an obligation created by law
must be broughtwithin ten years from the time the
right accrues. Here, the right accruesfrom the moment
Leoncio died, but it took the respondents 24 years to file the
Also, there is estoppel by laches on their part. First, Victor is
a lawyer; he even substituted his father in the execution of
compromiseagreement regarding
conveyance of parcel of land. Second, Richardo is the lessee
of the contested land and it is expected that he was aware of
the sale of the land. And, the respondents only institud the
complaint five years after the death of Ricardo.

The petition is granted.