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BONSATO V. CA|UTEA, 95 Phil 481

If the donation conveys the ownership and only reserves

for himself during his lifetime the owner’s share of the

fruits or proceeds, and the deed expressly declares the act to be “irrevocable,” it is not a donation mortis causa, but a conveyance inter vivos


Josefa Utea and other heirs of deceased Domingo Bonsato and Andrea Nacario filed a complaint to annul the donations of several parcels of land made by Domingo Bonsato in favor of Juan and Felipe Bonsato. The donations were embodied in two Notarial deeds which the Josefa Utea and the heirs allege were obtained thru fraudulent inducement.

In the Notarial deeds, the donor reserved for himself a portion of the fruits of the properties and

expressed “that after the death of the donor, the aforesaid donation shall become effective.”

CFI ruled that the donation was inter vivos therefor valid. CA ruled it was mortis causa therefor invalid for not following the required formalities. ISSUE: W/N the donation was inter vivos?

HELD: Inter Vivos. If the donation conveys the ownership and only reserves for himself during his

lifetime the owner’s share of the fruits or proceeds, and the deed expressly declares the act to be

“irrevocable,” it is not a donation mortis causa, but a conveyance inter vivos.

The solemnities required for a donation inter vivos are those prescribed by Art. 749 of the Civil Code. But only half of the property conveyed shall be valid since the property is conjugal and only Domingo made the conveyance without any consent from Andrea. Note: Many portions of the case are in Spanish.



Marie Howard is the widow of the donor. The donated propert was conjugal in nature. The CA ruled that the donation was inter vivos, not mortis causa. As such it is valid and irrevocable. It is valid, however, only up to the extent of the share of the donor in the property.

ISSUE: Is the donation mortis causa or inter vivos?

HELD: The donation is mortis causa which takes effect upon the death of the donor. Therefore, the donation not having conformed with the formalities of the law, the same is void.


Whether it is a donation mortis causa or inter vivos can be inferred upon the execution of the deed as to what the donor intended it to be.


Sps. Gavino Diaz and Severa Mendoza executed a Deed of Donation in favor of their children, Olimpia, Angel and Andrea Diaz. In the deed of donation, the Sps. Donated 8 lots, with reservations on certain lots, to their children and daughters-in-law and with conditions that they are not allowed to

alienate the same to 3 rd persons while the couple are still alive and that they shall continue to administer the same until their death. The donees manifested their acceptance in the same deed of donation. When Gavino died, Severa executed a deed of donation in favor of Angel and Andrea, giving the siblings each a ½ portion of Lot 2377-A. When Severa died, Andrea sued Angel to have the lots 2377-A and 2502 partitioned. Teodorico Alejandro, the surviving spouse of Olimpia, moved to intervene claiming 1/3 portion of Lot 2502.

The CFI ruled that the donation was a donation mortis causa because the ownership of the properties donated did not pass to the donees during the donor’s lifetime but was transmitted to the donees only “upon the death of the donors”. It, however, sustained the partition of Lot 2502 since it was an extrajudicial partition. Both parties appealed to the SC, Andrea contending that it is a donation inter vivos while Alejandro contending it to be mortis causa.

ISSUE: W/N the donation is a donation inter vivos or mortis causa

RULING: Donation inter vivos

The donation is a donation inter vivos because it took effect during the lifetime of the donors as provided in Art. 729. It was stipulated in the deed that out of love and affection by the donors to the donees, the latter are donating wholeheartedly and unconditionally free from any kind of lien and debt. Likewise, it was accepted by the donees which is a requirement for donations inter vivos.

Donations mortis causa are never accepted during the donor’s lifetime.

The reservation clause which provides that the donees cannot sell the lots to 3 rd persons while the couple is still alive implies that the ownership already passed.

Although there was a stipulation where the couple reserved to themselves the administration, ownership and rights over the properties mentioned, this should not be construed as to mean that ownership will pass only after their death. This refers to the beneficial ownership and not the naked title and what the donors reserved to themselves by means of that clause was the management of the donated lots and the fruits thereof.

Zapanta vs. Posadas


Father Braulio Pineda died in January 1925 without any ascendants or descendants, leaving a will in which he instituted his sister Irene Pineda as his sole heiress. During his lifetime Father Braulio donated some of his property by public instruments to the six plaintiffs, severally, with the condition that some of them would pay him a certain amount of rice, and others of money every year, and with the express provision that failure to fulfill this condition would revoke the donations ipso facto. These six plaintiff-donees are relatives, and some of them brothers of Father Braulio Pineda. The donations contained another clause that they would take effect upon acceptance. They were accepted during Father Braulio's lifetime by every one of the donees.

They were required by the CIR to pay inheritance tax on the property donated to them alleging that the donation is mortis causa therefore an inheritance tax must be paid under Art. 1536 of the Administrative Code. The petitioners contended that the donations made were inter vivos thus they are not required to pay inheritance taxes.

Issue: Whether or not the donations made were donations mortis causa. Held:

the donations made were donations inter vivos. The principal characteristics of a donation mortis causa, which distinguish it essentially from a donation inter vivos, are that in the former it is the donor's death that determines the acquisition of, or the right to, the property, and that it is revocable at the will of the donor. In the donations in question, their effect, that is, the acquisition of, or the right to, the property, was produced while the donor was still alive, for, according to their expressed terms they were to have this effect upon acceptance, and this took place during the donor's lifetime.

Laureta vs. mata


The following instrument, known in the record as Exhibit A, omitting the description of the lands and other personal property, was executed February 2, 1918. it recites that I, Severa Magno y Laureta, widow, seventy years old * * * hereby declare that for the purpose of giving the young Pedro Emilio Mata, single, seventeen years old, * * * and son of Pastor Mata, already deceased, and Ester Magno, "a reward for the services which he is rendering me, and as a token of my affection toward him and of the fact that he stands high in my estimation, I hereby donate 'mortis causa' to said youth all the properties described as follows." In the second paragraph it is said: "Therefore, all the part that was allotted to me in the said partition is the subject of this donation." In the third it recites: "I also declare that I likewise donate to the said youth the right to, and usufruct of, two parcels of land situated in Mariquet, etc." In the fourth"I also declare that it is the condition of this donation that the donee cannot take possession of the properties donated before the death of the donor, etc." Ester Magno, mother or the donee accepted the donation in behalf of the donee and thank the donor for his liberality.

When the grantor died, Pedro Emilio Mata, the grantee in the deed, and Ester Magno, entered upon and took possession of the lands. The plaintiff Laureta applied for and was appointed administrator of the estate of the grantor Severa Magno y Laureta, deceased, and made a demand upon the defendants for possession of the lands which was refused, resulting in this action.

The plaintiff contends and the trial court found that Exhibit A should be construed under the terms and provisions of article 620 of the Civil Code as follows:

"Donations which are to become effective upon the death of the donor partake of the nature of disposals of property by will and shall be governed by the rules established for testamentary successions."

Issue: whether or not the contention of the plaintiff is true.

Held: the contention of the plaintiff is wrong. Exhibit A is a donation in præsenti and conveyed the fee simple title to the lands in question subject only to the life estate of the donor. The conveyance of the lands took effect upon the making and delivery of the deed, reserving a life estate only in the donor. The conveyance itself was not "to become effective upon the death of the donor," but took effect at the time of its execution. Upon its face Exhibit A comes squarely within the provisions of article 623 of the Civil Code, which reads:

"A donation is perfected as soon as the donor has knowledge that it has been accepted by the donee."

"Where, however, a deed containing a provision that it is not to take effect until the grantor's death is actually delivered to the grantee during the lifetime of the grantor, it will be sustained as a present grant of a future interest."

That is this case. Legally speaking, it was a delivery and an acceptance of the deed. The facts bring the case squarely within article 623 of the Civil Code. Here, there was a donation and an acceptance both in the same instrument which made it a perfected donation within the meaning of article 623.

In any event, Exhibit A was a donation in præsenti as distinguished from a gift in futuro, hence does not come under the provisions of article 620 of the Civil Code.

The effect of this decision is to hold that Pedro Emilio Mata took and acquired a valid title to the premises in dispute at the time Exhibit A was executed, subject only to the life estate of the donor, and he is now the owner of the lands described in the pleadings.

CASE TITLE: Concepcion vs. ConcepcionG.R. No.: L-4225 August 25, 1952

TOPIC: Inter Vivos or Mortis Causa


After the execution of a deed of donation on November 18,1947, the donor Manuela Concepcion died. Plaintiffs- appellees who are 6 nephews and nieces of the donor instituted special proceedings in the CFI of Zambales for the summary settlement of the estate of their aunt. Because the estate or the greater portion thereof sought to be summarily settled and distributed was included in the donation, the donee Emilia Concepcion filed opposition to the petition claiming that the 6 parcels subject of the donation belongedto her. The Court in said special proceedings without deciding the title and right of possession to the 6 parcels claimed byEmilia, merely ordered the partition of the estate of Manuela Concepcion among all her heirs who are besides the 6petitioners, Emilia Concepcion and her 4 brothers. Because Emilia refused to give up the parcels said to have been donated to her, the 6 original petitioners in the special proceedings filed the present action in the CFI of Zambales to have themselves declared owners of and entitled to the possession of their shares in those properties claimed byEmilia in the proportion of one-eleventh (1/11) for each. After trial, the lower court found that the donation was one mortis causa and because it was not executed in the manner required by law on wills, it was declared null and void; the properties therein included were all declared part if theestate of the deceased Manuela Concepcion subject todistribution among the heirs in the proportion of 1/11 foreach as declared by the court in the special proceedings.Emilia Concepcion appealed the decision to the CA, butfinding that only questions of law were involved in theappeal, said court by resolution certified the case to this Court.

ISSUE:Whether the deed of donation is inter vivos or mortis causa (because if the former, it is valid having been duly accepted by the donee, but if the latter it would be void because being inthe nature of disposal of property by will, according to thearticle 620 of the Civil Code, it shall be governed by the rulesestablished for testamentary succession)

HELD:Here, the donation is entitled and called donacion onerosa mortis causa. From the body, however, we find that the donation was of a nature remunerative rather that onerous.The donation instead of being onerous or for a valuable consideration, as in payment of a

legal obligation was more of remuneratory or compensatoruy nature, besides being partly motivated by affection.In the case of De Guzman et al. vs. Ibea, et al . (67 Phil., 633),this Court through said that if a donation by its terms is inter vivos, this character is not altered by the fact that the donor styles it mortis causa .It is clear that even when the donor calls the donation mortiscausa instead of inter vivos, even if he says it is to take effect after his death, when from the body of the instrument or donation is to be gathered that the main consideration of the donation is not the death of the donor but rather services rendered to him, by the donee or his affection for the latter,then the donation should be considered as inter vivos, andwhen duly accepted, it transfers title immediately to the donee, and the condition that the donation is to take effect only after the death of donor should be interpreted as meaning that the possession and enjoyment of the fruits of the property donated should take place only after donor's death.

One other consideration may be mentioned in support of our stand. The donation here was accepted by Emilia; said acceptance is embodied in the deed of donation, and both donor and donee signed below said acceptance conclusively showing that the donor was aware of said acceptance. The deed and acceptance was by agreement of both recorded or registered. Everything was complete. Only donations inter vivos need be accepted. Donation mortis causa being in the nature of a legacy need not be accepted. Presuming that the donor Manuela and the donee Emilia knew the law, the fact that they not only be agreed to the acceptance but regardedsaid acceptance necessary argues for their understanding and intention that the donation was inter vivos .In view of the foregoing, we find that the donation in question is inter vivos and not mortis causa, and that it isvalid because the requisites of the law about the

execution of wills do not apply to it. The decision appealed from is herebyreversed with costs


cuevas v cuevas Facts:

On September 18, 1950, Antonina Cuevas executed a notarized conveyance entitled “Donación Mortis Causa,” ceding to her nephew Crispulo Cuevas the northern half of a parcel of unregistered land in barrio Sinasajan, municipality of Peñaranda, Province of Nueva Ecija (Exhibit A). In the same instrument appears the acceptance of Crispulo Cuevas.

But the donor executed another instrument which sought to revoke the preceding donation on the following grounds:

(1) that the donation being mortis causa, it had been lawfully revoked by the donor; and (2) even if it were a donation inter vivos, the same was invalidated because (a) it was not properly accepted; (b) because the donor did not reserve sufficient property for her own maintenance, and (c) because the donee was guilty of ingratitude, for having refused to support the donor.

Basically, if the donation is mortis causa, the donation is void because the requirements under the provisions of testamentary succession were not observed.

There is an apparent conflict in the expression above quoted, in that the donor reserves to herself “the right of possession, cultivation, harvesting and other rights and attributes of ownership while I am not deprived of life by the Almighty”; but right after, the same donor states that she “will not take away” (the property) “because I reserve it for him (the donee) when I die.”

Issue: WON (whether or not) the donation made is inter vivos or mortis causa.

Held: the donation made was inter vivos. Where the donor stated in the deed of donation that he will not dispose or

take away the land “because I am reserving it to him (donee) upon my death,” he, in effect, expressly renounced the

right to freely dispose of the property in favor of another (a right essential to full ownership) and manifested the irrevocability of the conveyance of the naked title to the property in favor of the donee. As stated in the case of Bonsato vs. Court of Appeals, 50 Off. Gaz. (8), p. 3568, Phil., 481, such irrevocability is characteristic of donations inter vivos, because it is incompatible with the idea of a disposition post mortem.

The argument that there was no sufficient acceptance, because the deed “merely recites that (1) the donee has duly read all the contents of this donation; (2) that he ‘shall fully respect all its terms’; and (3) that ‘for the act of benevolence’ he is expressing his gratitude” but there is no show of acceptance (Appellant’s brief, p. 7), is without basis.

To respect the terms of the donation and at the same time express gratitude for the donor’s benevolence, constitutes

sufficient acceptance of the donation.



Carmen Ubalde Vda. de Parcon died in the City of Iloilo, without forced heirs, leaving certain properties in the City and province of Iloilo. She left a will and

The reservation by the donor of the right to dispose of the property during her lifetime in the deed does not indicate

that title had passed to the donee in her lifetime but that the donor merely reserves power to destroy the donation at any


was survived by nephews and nieces, children of her predeceased brother, Catalino Ubalde, and sister, Luisa Ubalde, married to Ariston Magbanua. Besides her will, the deceased had executed two notarial deeds of donation. One, entitled DONACION MORTIS CAUSA, was executed on November 24, 1948, in favor of her niece, Estela Magbanua. The deceased executed another deed of donation, also entitled "ESCRITURA DE DONACION MORTIS CAUSA" in favor of the same donee, Estela Magbanua Peñaflorida, conveying to her three parcels of land

Defendants-appellants Estela Magbanua Peñaflorida, et al., insist that the reservation by the donor of the right to dispose of the property during her lifetime in the deed of December 28, 1949 indicates that title had passed to the donee in her lifetime, otherwise, it is argued, the reservation would be superfluous.

ISSUE: Is the donation mortis causa or inter vivos?

HELD: The Court in its decision took to account not only the foregoing circumstance but also the fact that the deceased expressly and consistently declared her conveyance to be one of donation mortis causa, and further forbade the registration of the deed until after her death.

The power, as reserved in the deed, was a power to destroy the donation at any time, and that it meant that the transfer is not binding on the grantor until her death made it impossible to channel the property elsewhere.









The subject lot in controversy in this case is a commercial lot located in Tacloban City. Sometime in 1935,

the owner of the subject lot executed a deed of donation in favor of their daughter Conception K. Salcedo with all the formalities required by law meaning with acceptance by the donee in a public document, in the presence of witnesses and notarized by a notary public. Sometime in 1939, Conception executed a deed of donation of the subject lot to her minor daughter who is with her grandmother as the guardian of the minor and in behalf of the minor she accepted the donation with all the formalities required by law. In November 1944, Conception and private respondent, Casilan, executed a deed of sale on the subject lot with Concepcion assuring that the deed of donation made in favor her daughter is not legal and therefore she has the right to alienate said lot to Casilan. After a while, Casilan demanded the delivery of the subject lot believing that he now is the lawful owner of the subject lot.


Whether or not a donation to a minor thru his/her guardian is a valid donation?


The Court held, under Art. 633 of the Old Civil Code, a donation transfers title effectively if it is accepted

with all the formalities that must accompany the acceptance of donations of realty, to wit, thru the medium of a public instrument with authentic notice to the donor, unless the acceptance is made in the deed of gift itself. In the present case, the deed of donation executed by Concepcion K. Salcedo in favor of her daughter Marita Antonia Salcedo states "that the said donee, Marita Antonia Kapunan Salcedo being a minor and being represented by her maternal grandmother, Iluminada F. Vda. de Kapunan, does express her appreciation and gratefulness for the generosity of said donor." The acceptance having been made in the deed of gift itself, notification thereof to the donor in a "constancia autentica" was evidently not necessary. It is true that the acceptance was made on another date and in a place other than that where the deed was executed, but the deed of donation as so worded implied a previous understanding between the parties who intervened therein, and, and, whatsoever, the donor, Concepcion K. Salcedo, admittedly knew of the actual acceptance by the donee through the latter's grandmother. Pursuant to Art. 623 of the old Civil Code, her knowledge of such acceptance perfected the donation

Justice Panganiban


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."


Petitioner filed an action seeking to recover from defendant a parcel of land which the former claims to have acquired from his grandmother by donation. Respondent on the other hand, put up the defense that when the alleged donation was executed, he had already acquired the property by a Deed of Assignment (allegedly executed before the Deed of Donation to Plaintiff) from a transferee (the former agent) of petitioner’s grandmother. Defendant also claims that petitioner failed to accept the donation whether in the same deed of donation or in a separate instrument rendering the donation

null and void. Petitioner defends that the donation in any case was onerous as he wsd the one who

paid the land’s amortization.

ISSUE: W/N the donation is simple or onerous.


A simple or pure 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. 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 petitioner's 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. Rather, the deed explicitly stated:




DONOR hereby voluntarily and freely gives, by way of donation unto said DONEE



above described real property, together with all the buildings and improvements found therein, free

from all lines [sic] and encumbrances and charges whatsoever;

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.

As a pure or simple donation, the following provisions of the Civil Code are applicable:

Art. 734. The donation is perfected from the moment the donor knows of the acceptance by the donee. Art. 746. Acceptance must be made during the lifetime of the donor and the donee. Art. 749. In order that the donation of an immovable may be valid, it must be made in a public instrument, specifying therein the property donated and the value of the charges which the donee must satisfy.

The acceptance may be made in the same deed of donation and in a separate public document, but it shall not take effect unless it is done during the lifetime of the donor. If the acceptance is made in a separate instrument, the donor shall be notified thereof in authentic form, and this step shall be noted in both instruments.

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."


Pedro Calapine was the registered owner of a parcel of land. He executed a deed of donation inter vivos of ½ of the land to his niece, Helen Doria. Subsequently, he executed another deed of donation inter vivos ceding the other ½ of the property to Helen Doria. Helen Doria donated a protion of the lot (157 sqm) to the Calauan Christian Reformed Church. Helen Doria sold and conveyed the remaining portion save some 700 meters for his residence. Pedro Calapine sought to annul the sale and donation to eduarte and CCRC on the ground that the deed of donation was a forgery and that Doria was unworthy of his liberality claiming ingratitude (commission of offense against the person, honor or property of donor [par. 1])


W/N the falsification of public document committed by Doria is an act of ingratitude against Calapine (considering that falsification is a crime against public interest)?


In commentaries of Tolentino, it is said that “all crimes which offend the donor show ingratitude and are causes of revocation.” Petitioner attempted to categorize the offenses according to their

classification under the RPC by deleting the first sentence. However, this is unwarranted considering that illegal detention, threats and coercion are considered crimes against the person of the donor despite the fact that they are classified as crimes against personal liberty and security under the RPC.

Note: Eduarte and the Church still won although the donation was deemed by the Court to be revocable. The Court applied the CHAIN OF TITLE THEORY because the lands were registered lands and it has already passed from the forger (Doria) to innocent purchasers for value (Eduarte, et al.).


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

1) The Donee shall construct on the land and at its expense a Chapel, Nursery, and Kindergarten








2) Construction shall start immediately and must be at least 70% completed three years from the date









3) Automatic reversion in case of violation

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

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

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


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

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

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

Donations with an onerous cause shall be governed by the rules on contracts, and remuneratory donations by the provisions of the present Title as regards that portion which exceeds the value of the burden imposed.

It is true that under Article 764 of the New Civil Code, actions for the revocation of a donation must be brought within four (4) years from the non-compliance of the conditions of the donation. However, said article does not apply to onerous donations in view of the specific provision of Article 733 providing that onerous donations are governed by the rules on contracts. The rules on prescription and not the rules on donation applies in the case at bar.


The nature of the disposition made is the determinative factor which makes the

donation “ inter vivos” or “ mortis causa” and not the title given to a deed of donation.

FACTS Dr. Emilio Pascual died intestate and was survived by his sister Ursula Pascual and the children of his late sisters, herein petitioners Ruperto Reyes et. al. The heirs of Dr. Pascual filed Special Proceedings No. 73-30-M in the CFI for the administration of Pascual’s estate. Ursula then filed a motion to exclude some properties included alleging that these were donated to her in a donation mortis causa in 1966. This was granted by the CFI without prejudice to its final determination in a separate action. An appeal was made to the SC. The SC then issued a TRO enjoining the CFI from enforcing the order.

Among the properties donated to Ursula is lot 24 which was also donated in 1969 in a deed of donation inter vivos in favor of Ofelia Parungao who was then a minor at the time of the donation. When she reached the age of majority, she had the donation registered but found out that the certificate of title was missing so she filed a petition for reconstitution of title which was granted and she registered the donation and was issued a new TCT in her name.

Ursula then sold the lot in favor of the Reyes. Benjamin Reyes filed a complaint for declaration of

nullity of Ofelia’s TCT which prompted Ofelia to file a petition for recovery of possession against

Benjamin Reyes. The CFI issued a joint decision for the 2 cases ruling that Ofelia’s TCT was null and void. The IAC affirmed thus an appeal to the SC.

ISSUES (1) W/N the probate has jurisdiction to exclude properties donated to Ursula (2) W/N the donation executed in favor of Ursula was a donation inter vivos

RULING (1) YES It was stressed in the order of the probate court that it was without prejudice to the final determination in a separate action. It is well-settled that although a probate court cannot adjudicate or determine title to properties, it can determine whether or not the properties should be included in the inventory to be administered. Such determination is not conclusive and is subject to the final decision in a separate action.

(2) YES Although the donation was entitled “donations mortis causa” it has been held that dispositions in a deed of donation do not depend on the title or term used in the deed of donation. It is the body of the document which should be considered in ascertaining the intention of the donor.

For a donation to be a donation mortis causa, the following characteristics should be present:

  • 1. It conveys no title before the death of the transferor or the transferor retains ownership over the property

  • 2. Before his death, the transfer should be revocable by the transferor at will

  • 3. The transfer is void should the transferor survive the transferee

The following are not present in the case. The transfer of ownership was immediate and independent of the death of the donor. The provision stating that the donor has reserved sufficient properties for himself to maintain him for life confirms the intention of the donor to give naked ownership immediately after execution of the deed of donation.

Liguez vs. CA
Liguez vs. CA

Facts: The case began upon complaint filed by Conchita Liguez, plaintiff, against the widow and heirs of the


late Salvador P. Lopez to recover a parcel of land. Plaintiff averred to be its legal owner, pursuant to a deed of

donation of said land, executed in her favor by the late owner, Salvador P. Lopez. The donated land originally

belonged to the conjugal partnership of Lopez and his wife, Maria Ngo. The defense interposed was that the


donation was null and void for having an illicit causa or consideration, which was plaintiff's entering into marital

relations with Salvador P. Lopez, a married man. In the Court of First the property was adjudicated to the


appellees as heirs of Lopez. At the time of the donation, plaintiff was a minor, only 16 years of age. The


donation was made in view of the desire of Salvador P. Lopez, a man of mature years, to have sexual relations

her. Lopez had confessed to his love for but the parents of the plaintiff would not allow him to live with her


unless he first donated the land in question. He did. Upon these facts, the Court of Appeals held that the deed


of donation was inoperative, and null and void (1) because the husband, Lopez, had no right to donate


conjugal property to the plaintiff appellant; and (2) because the donation was tainted with illegal causa or


consideration, of which donor and donee were participants.


Issue: Whether or not the donation is valid notwithstanding its illegal causa and does the plaintiff have a right to

recover the land adjudicated?


Held: The motive of the parties may be regarded as causa when it predetermines the purpose of the contract.


Thus the motive of Lopez to bed the plaintiff is contrary to morals and is illicit, which makes it illegal as well.

However, appellees cannot plead and prove that the donation is illegal because Lopez himself, if living, would

be barred from setting up that plea. Parties to an illegal contract, if equally guilty, is barred from pleading the

illegality of the bargain either as a cause of action or as a defense and his heirs can have no better rights than

Lopez himself. Thus the case must be decided in view of the follwing provisions: "ART. 1409. 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 them a profession or

by both spouses by common consent, should they not have stipulated that such expenditures should be borne

in whole or in part by the separate property of one of them." "ART. 1415. The husband may dispose of the


property of the conjugal partnership for the purposes mentioned in Article 1409." "ART. 1413. 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." 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, but only in so far as it prejudices the


interest of the wife. The appellant Conchita Liguez is entitled to as much of the donated property as may be


found, upon proper liquidation, not to prejudice the share of the widow Maria Ngo in the conjugal partnership

with Salvador P. Lopez or the legitimes of the forced heirs of the latter.


Tan queto v CA


Facts: Restituta Tagalinar Guangco de Pombuena received the questioned lot (Lot 304-B of the Cadastre Survey of the Municipality of Centro, Misamis Occidental) either as a purported

donation or by way of purchase on 11 February 1927 for P50.00 as the alleged consideration

thereof. The transaction took place during her mother’s lifetime (her father having predeceased

the mother) and consummated while Restituta was already married to her husband Juan Pombuena. On 22 January 1935, Juan filed an application of Torrens title over the land for himself and his supposed co-owner Restituta. On 22 November 1938, a decision was promulgated (GLRC 1638, Cadastral Case 12) pronouncing Juan (married to Restituto) as the owner of the land. On 22 September 1949 a contract of lease over the lot was entered into between Pershing Tan Queto and Restituta (with the consent of her husband) for a period of 10 years. Meanwhile, On 27 December 1960 Restituta sued Tan Queto for unlawful detainer (the lease contract having expired) before the Municipal Court of Ozamis City.

On 22 April 1962, as a consequence of the cadastral case, an OCT was issued in Juan’s name.

On 10 October 1962, Tan Queto and Juan entered into a barter agreement whereby Tan Queto became the owner of the disputed lot, and the spouses 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. Thereafter, Tan Queto constructed on the disputed land a concrete building, without any objection on the part of Restituta.

The Municipal court ruled in favor of the spouses in the unlawful detainer case; but on appeal in the CFI, the entire case was dismissed because of an understanding (barter) entered into by Juan and Tan Queto.

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.

Issue: who owns the property?

Held: tan queto. Land not transferred to Restituta by donation, for it to be paraphernal. The oral donation of the lot cannot be a valid donation inter-vivos 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



Facts:Perfecta baleen died in 1945 leaving a 28-hectare lot. Perfecta was survived bysister juana and brother felipe.May 1946 juana and felipe executed an Extrajudicial Sale of the Estate of Perfecta, which states that Felipe and Juana agreed to carryout the requests of perfecta that in consideration of her love and affection it be donated to Salud whois the daughter of Juana.June 1946 Salud executed the following public instrument which states:

“that I salud the only done do hereby receive and accept this donation and further express my gratitude for the kindness and liberality of the donors, felipe and juana.1951, acceding to the request of her mother juana, salud transferred possessionof the lot to her mother who was them living with Claudio salud’s brother and hisfamily. During the period they were occupying the land, Claudio paid realty taxes.May 25, 1956 Juana executed a deed of absolute sale conveying the land toClaudio for 12,000. Claudio had the land registered in his name and was issuetct.1963, juana died.1965 salud filed a complaint for reconveyance on the ground that deed of sale infavor of Claudio was fictitious and its registration was null and void.Claudio argues that the fact that acceptance was made in separate instrumentwas not noted in both instruments as required by the civil code


HELD: YES. It is true that there is nothing in either of the two instruments showing that authentic notice of the acceptance was made by salud to felipe. And while the first instrument contains the statement that “the done does hereby accept this donation and does hereby express her gratitude for the

kindness and liberality of the donor” the only signatories thereof were Felipe and Juana


That was


fact the reason for separate instrument of acceptance signed by Salud a month later. A strict interpretation of art 633 of the old civil code, can lead to no other conclusion that on the

annulment of the donation for being defective in for. This would be in keeping with the unmistakable language of art. 633. A literal adherence to the requirement of the law might result not in justice to the parties but conversely a distortion of their intentions it is also a policy of the court to avoid such an

interpretation. The purpose of the formal requirement is to insure that the acceptance of the donation is duly communicated to the donor. Here 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. The donation cannot be declared ineffective just because there is no notation in the EJS of donees acceptance that would be placing too much stress on mere form over the substance. It would also be disregard the clear reality of the acceptance of the donation as manifested in these separate instrument and aslater acknowledge and as latter acknowledged by juana.

Cruz v ca
Cruz v ca


In 1973, Eduvigis J. Cruz, a childless widow, donated a 235.5 sq.m. residential lot in San Isidro, Taytay, Rizal together with the two-door apartment erected thereon to her grandnieces, private respondents herein, in a deed of donation entitled "Kasulatan Sa Kaloobpala". The property was accordingly transferred to the names of private respondents. In 1974, Eduvigis Cruz judicially adopted Cresencia Ocreto, a minor, after which she extrajudicially tried to revoke the donation, but the donees resisted, alleging that

(a) the property in question was co-owned by Eduvigis Cruz and her brother, the late Maximo Cruz, grandfather of the donees, hence the latter own 1/2 of the property by inheritance; and

(b) Eduvigis Cruz owns another property, an agricultural land of more than two hectares situated in Barrio Dolores, Taytay, Rizal, hence the donation did not impair the presumptive legitime of the adopted child.

the donor invoked Article 760, paragraph 3 of the New Civil Code, which reads:

Art. 760. Every donation inter vivos, made by a person having no children or descendants, legitimate or legitimated by subsequent marriage, or illegitimate, may be revoked or reduced as provided in the next article, by the happening of any of these events:

(3) If the donor should subsequently adopt a minor child.

Issue: WON the donor can validly revoke the donation made.

In the case of the subsequent adoption of a minor by one who had previously donated some or all of his properties to another, the donor may sue for the annulment or reduction of the donation within four years from the date of adoption, if the donation impairs the legitime of the adopted, taking into account the whole estate of the donor at the time of the adoption of the child. (Civil Code, Articles 760, 761 and 763).

Where the complaint for annulment of the donation does not allege nor prove that the donation impairs the legitime of the adopted child, but that unrebutted evidence exists that the donor has another piece of land and that the grandfather of the donees was owner pro-indiviso of one-half of the donated land, fatal to the complaint.

Unfortunately, in the case at bar, the complaint for annulment does not allege that the subject donation impairs the legitime of the adopted child. Indeed it contains no indication at all of the total assets of the donor. Nor is there proof of impairment of legitime. On the contrary, there is unrebutted evidence that the donor has another piece of land (27,342 sq. m.) situated in Dolores, Taytay, Rizal worth P273,420.00 in 1977, although then subject to litigation. The legal situation of petitioner-donor, as plaintiff, is made worse by the factual finding of the Court of Appeals that the grandfather of the donees was the owner pro indiviso of one-half of the donated land, the effect of which is to reduce the value of the donation which can then more easily be taken from the portion of the estate within the free disposal of petitioner.


Case title: Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila et. al vs. CA

Topic: Donation; condition may be imposed by the donor to the donee but such condition must not be contra bonus mores (contrary to law, morals, public policy or public order)so as to unreasonably restrict his right to dispose or alienate the property as a right springing from ownership.


On August 23, 1930,Spouses Eusebio de Castro and MartinaRieta (donor), now both deceased, executed a deed of donation in favor of therein defendant Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila (donee) covering a parcel of land with an area of 964 square meters, more or less.

On or about June 30, 1980, and while still within the prohibitive period to dispose of the property, petitioner Roman Catholic Bishop of Imus, in whose administration all properties within the province of Cavite owned by the Archdiocese of Manila was allegedly transferred on April 26, 1962, executed a deed of absolute sale of the property subject of the donation in favor of petitioners Florencio and Soledad C. Ignao. Private respondents on Nov 1984 as plaintiffs, filed a complaint for nullification of deed of donation, rescission of contract and reconveyance of real property with damages against petitioners Florencio and Soledad C. Ignao and church( defendants therein).Trial court issued an order dismissing the complaint on the ground that the cause of action has prescribed. The case was elevated to CA. CA holding that the action has not yet prescribed, rendered a decision in favor of private respondents (plaintiff therein).Petitioners contended that the cause of action of herein private respondents has already prescribed, invoking Article764 of the Civil Code which provides that "(t)he donation shall be revoked at the instance of the donor, when the donee fails to comply with any of the conditions which the former imposed upon the latter," and that "(t)his action shall prescribe after four years from the non-compliance with the condition, may be transmitted to the heirs of the donor, and may be exercised against the donee's heirs."Thus should have raised the action between Jan 1980- Jan1984. On Nov. 1984, it has prescribed.

Issues: 1. WON judicial declaration is required as the revocatory act of the donation in this case

  • 2. WON the cause of action of respondents has prescribed under Art. 765

  • 3. WON respondents have a cause of action granting the cause of action has not prescribed

Ruling: 1. No judicial declaration needed. Automatic revocation by virtue of the stipulation in the deed of donation


Action has not prescribed

2. Action has not prescribed
2. Action has not prescribed
2. Action has not prescribed
2. Action has not prescribed

SC quoting CA’s decision:

The deed of donation involved herein expressly provides for automatic reversion of the property donated in case of violation of the condition therein, hence a judicial declaration revoking the same is not necessary."By the very express provision in the deed of donation itself that the violation of the condition thereof would render ipsofacto null and void the deed of donation, WE are of the opinion that there would be no legal necessity anymore to have the donation judicially declared null and void for the reason that the very deed of donation itself declares it so. Phrase reading 'would render ipso facto null and void' would not appear in the deed of donation, if the intention was otherwise. The Court of Appeals committed no error in holding that the cause of action of herein private respondents has not yet prescribed since an action to enforce a written contract prescribes in ten (10) years ( 1980-1990, respondents filed the case on 1984 Nov). Article 764 was intended to provide a judicial remedy in case of non-fulfillment or contravention of conditions specified in the deed of donation if and when the parties have not agreed on the automatic revocation of such donation upon the occurrence of the contingency contemplated therein.

  • 3. The issue whether or not the action by respondents has prescribed is not really the case at bar.

Private respondents have no cause of action from the beginning. Action filed by private respondents may not be dismissed by reason of prescription; the same should be dismissed on the ground that private respondents have no cause of action against petitioners. The cause of action of private respondents is based on the alleged breach by petitioners of the resolutory condition in the deed of donation that the property donated should not be sold within a period of one hundred (100) years from the date of execution of the deed of donation. Said condition, in our opinion, constitutes an undue restriction on the rights arising from ownership of petitioners and is, therefore, contrary to public policy. Donation, as a mode of

acquiring ownership, results in an effective transfer of title over the property from the donor to the donee. Once a donation is accepted, the donee becomes the absolute owner of the property donated. Although the donor may impose certain conditions in the deed of donation, the same must not be contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order and public policy. The condition imposed in thedeed of donation in the case before us constitutes a patently unreasonable and undue restriction on the right of the doneeto dispose of the property donated, which right is anindispensable attribute of ownership. Such a prohibitionagainst alienation, in order to be valid, must not be perpetualor for an unreasonable period of time.Certain provisions of the Civil Code illustrative of theaforesaid policy may be considered applicable by analogy.Under the third paragraph of Article 494, a donor or testatormay prohibit partition for a period which shall not exceedtwenty (20) years. Article 870, on its part, declares that thedispositions of the testator declaring all or part of the estateinalienable for more than twenty (20) years are void.That the prohibition in the deed of donation against thealienation of the property for an entire century, being an unreasonable emasculation and denial of an integral attribute of ownership, should be declared as an illegal or impossible condition within the contemplation of Article 727of the Civil Code. Consequently, as specifically stated in said statutory provision, such condition shall be considered as not imposed. The net result is that, absent said proscription, the deed of sale supposedly constitutive of the cause of action for thenullification of the deed of donation is not in truth violative of the latter hence, for lack of cause of action, the case forprivate respondents must fail



FACTS:On February 20, 1981, Catalina Quilala (donor)executed a"Donation of Real Property Inter Vivos" in favor of Violeta Quilala (donee) over a parcel of land located in Sta. Cruz,Manila and registered in her name.The "Donation of Real Property Inter Vivos" consists of twopages. The first page contains the deed of donation itself, andis signed on the bottom portion by Catalina Quilala andVioleta Quilala, and two instrumental witnesses. The secondpage contains the Acknowledgment, which states merely thatCatalina Quilala personally appeared before the notary publicand acknowledged that the donation was her free andvoluntary act and deed. There appear on the left-hand marginof the second page the signatures of Catalina Quilala and oneof the witnesses, and on the right-hand margin the signaturesof Violeta Quilala and the other witnessOn November 7, 1983, Catalina Quilala died. Violeta Quilalalikewise died on May 22, 1984. Petitioner Ricky Quilalaalleges that he is the surviving son of Violeta Quilala.Meanwhile, respondents Gliceria Alcantara, LeonoraAlcantara, Ines Reyes and Juan Reyes, claiming to beCatalina's only surviving relatives within the fourth civildegree of consanguinity instituted an action for thedeclaration of nullity of the donation inter vivos , and for thecancellation of the TCT in the name of Violeta Quilala.The trial court rendered a decision declaring null and void thedeed of donation of real property inter vivos executed byCatalina Quilala in favor of Violeta Quilala. The trial courtfound that since it was acknowledged before a notary publiconly by the donor, Catalina, there was no acceptance byVioleta of the donation in a public instrument. The decisionwas affirmed by the CA.

ISSUE: Whether or not the donation executed by Catalina infavor of Violeta is valid


valid even if the acknowledgment was only signed by the donor Below the terms and stipulations of the donation, the donor,donee and their witnesses affixed their signature. However,the Acknowledgment appearing on the second pagementioned only the donor, Catalina Quilala. Thus, the trialcourt ruled that for Violeta's failure to acknowledge heracceptance before the notary public, the same was set forthmerely on a private instrument, i.e., the first page of theinstrument.We disagree.As provided for in Section 112, paragraph 2 of PD No. 1529,the second page of the deed of donation, on which theAcknowledgment appears, was signed by the donor and onewitness on the left-hand margin. The donee and the otherwitness signed on the right hand margin. Surely, therequirement that the contracting parties and their witnessesshould sign on the left-hand margin of the instrument is notabsolute. The intendment of the law merely is to ensure thateach and every page of the instrument is authenticated bythe parties. The requirement is designed to avoid thefalsification of the contract after the same has already beenduly executed by the parties. Hence, a contracting partyaffixes his signature on each page of the instrument to certifythat he is agreeing to everything that is written thereon atthe time of signing.Simply put, the specification of the location of the signatureis merely directory. The fact that one of the parties signs onthe wrong side of the page does not invalidate the document.In the same vein, the lack of an acknowledgment by thedonee before the notary public does not also render thedonation null and void. The instrument should be treated inits entirety. It cannot be considered a private document inpart and a public document in another part . The fact that itwas acknowledged before a notary public converts the deedof donation in its entirety a public instrument. The fact thatthe donee was not mentioned by the notary public in

theacknowledgment is of no moment. To be sure, it is theconveyance that should be acknowledged as a free andvoluntary act. In any event, the donee signed on the secondpage, which Contains the acknowledgement only. Her acceptance wqhich is explicitly set forth on the first page of the notarized deed of donation, was made in a public instrument.

Petition is granted.the appealed decision of the ca is reversed.

Hemedes vs CA


October 8, 1999Who may give/receive donations




  • JOSE Hemedes is the father of MAXIMA & ENRIQUE.

  • JOSE executed “Donation Inter Vivos with Resolutory Conditions” whereby he conveyed the

subject land in favor of his third wife, JUSTA KAUSAPIN, subject to the following resolutoryconditions:

a.Upon the death or remarriage of the DONEE, the title to the property donated shallrevert to any of the children, or their heirs, of the DONOR expressly designated by theDONEE in a public document conveying the property to the latter; or b.In absence of such an express designation made by the DONEE before her death orremarriage contained in a public instrument as above provided, the title to the propertyshall automatically revert to the legal heirs of the DONOR in common.

  • Pursuant to the first condition, Justa Kausapin executed “Deed of Conveyance by Reversion”,

conveying the property to Maxima Hemedes. A title was issued in the name of Maxima.Maxima then constituted a real estate mortgage over the property and the property wasextrajudicially

foreclosed by R&B insurance for Maxima’s failure to pay the loan she

Meanwhile, despite the earlier conveyance by JUSTA to MAXIMA, JUSTA executed a

“Kasunduan” conveying the same property to her stepson ENRIQUE. Enrique then sold the property to DOMINIUM REALTY.

ISSUE : Which of the two conveyances made by JUSTA (1st in favor of Maxima; 2 nd in favor of Enrique) effectively transferred ownership over the land.



  • The allegation that the “Deed of Conveyance by Reversion” executed

by Justa in favor of Maxima is spurious is not supported by evidence. Such is merely grounded on the denial of Justa Kausapin herself.

  • Justa is a biased witness. She is 80 years old, suffering from worsening physical infirmities,and completely dependent on Enrique for support.
    CA erred when it declared the “Deed of Conveyance by Reversion” in favor of Maxima void

for failure to comply with CC 1332 (CC 1332: When one of the parties is unable to read, or if the contract is in a language not understood by him, and mistake or fraud is alleged, theperson enforcing the contract must show that the terms thereof have been fully explained tothe former). In this case, Justa denies knowledge of the deed of conveyance. Hence, CC 1332is inapplicable as it was useless to determine whether or not Justa was induced to executethe document by means of fraud when she denies knowledge of existence in the first place.

for failure to comply with CC 1332 (CC 1332: When one of the parties is unable

Hence, the donation in favor of ENRIQUE is null and void for the purported object thereof didnot exist at the time of the transfer, having already been transferred to his sister.

Maria Antonia Siguan vs. Rosa Lim, Linde Lim, Ingrid Lim and Neil Lim318 SCRA 725; G.R. No. 134685;

November 19, 1999



A criminal case was filed against LIM with RTC-Cebu city for issuing 2 bouncing checks in the amounts of P300,000 andP241,668, respectively to SiguanMeanwhile, on 2 July 1991, a Deed of Donation conveying the following parcels of land and purportedly executed by LIM on 10August 1989 in favor of her children, Linde, Ingrid and Neil, was registered with the Office of the Register of Deeds of Cebu City. Newtransfer certificates of title were thereafter issued in the names of the donees. On 23 June 1993, petitioner filed an accion pauliana against LIM and her children before RTC-Cebu City to rescind the questioned Deed of Donation and to declare as null andvoid the new transfer certificates of title issued for the lots covered by the questioned Deed.

for failure to comply with CC 1332 (CC 1332: When one of the parties is unable

Petitioner s contention:

claimed therein that sometime in July 1991, LIM, through a Deed of Donation, fraudulently transferred allher real property to her children in bad faith and in fraud of creditors, including her; that LIM conspired and confederated with herchildren in antedating the questioned Deed of Donation, to petitioner's and other creditors' prejudice; and that LIM, at the time of the fraudulent conveyance, left no sufficient properties to pay her obligations.

for failure to comply with CC 1332 (CC 1332: When one of the parties is unable

LIM s contention:

As regards the questioned Deed of Donation, LIM maintained that it was not antedated but was made in goodfaith at a time when she had sufficient property. Finally, she alleged that the Deed of Donation was registered only on 2 July 1991because she was seriously ill.

Issue:Whether the Deed of Donation executed by Rosa Lim (LIM) in favor of her children be rescinded for being in fraud of petitioner Maria Antonia Siguan?

Ruling:Even assuming arguendo that petitioner became a creditor of LIM prior to the celebration of the contract of donation, still her actionfor rescission would not fare well because the third requisite was not met. Under Article 1381 of the Civil Code, contracts enteredinto in fraud of creditors may be rescinded only when the creditors cannot in any manner collect the claims due them. Also, Article1383 of the same Code provides that the action for rescission is but a subsidiary remedy which cannot be instituted except whenthe party suffering damage has no other legal means to obtain reparation for the same. The term "subsidiary remedy" has beendefined as "the exhaustion of all remedies by the prejudiced creditor to collect claims due him before rescission is resorted to." It is,therefore,

"essential that the party asking for rescission prove that he has exhausted all other legal means to obtain satisfaction of his claim.Petitioner neither alleged nor proved that she did so. On this score, her action for the rescission of the questioned deedis not maintainable even if the fraud charged actually did exist."


Directo, Noceda, and Arbizo (the daughter, grandson, and widow, respectively of the late Celestino Arbizo) extra-judicially settled a parcel of land. Directo’s share was 11,426 square meters, Noceda got 13,294 square meters, and the remaining 41,810 square meters went to Maria Arbizo. On the same day, Directo donated 625 sq.m. of her share to her nephew.

However, a few months later, another extra-judicial settlement-partition of the same lot was executed. 3/5 of the lot was awarded to Arbizo (widow) while Directo and Noceda (daughter and grandson) got only 1/5 each.

Sometime on the same year when the partitions happened, the nephew (donee) constructed his

house on the land donated to him by Directo. On the other hand, Directo fenced the portion allotted to her in the extrajudicial settlement, excluding the donated portion, and constructed




Around 3 years later, the nephew removed the fence earlier constructed by Directo, occupied the 3 huts, and fenced the entire land of Directo without her consent. The latter demanded Noceda to vacate her land, but Noceda refused.

Hence, Directo filed a complaint for the recovery of possession and ownership and rescission/annulment of donation, against Noceda before the lower court. A survey was conducted and it was found that the area stated in the settlement was smaller than the actual area of the lot. The TC declared the second extra-judicial settlement-partition and the deed of donation revoked (because of ingratitude). The court ordered the nephew (done) to vacate and reconvey the property to Directo. CA affirmed.

The nephew contends that there was no real partition and thus, there is no basis for the charge of usurpation and ingratitude. He also contends that granting revocation is proper, the 1 year period for such revocation has already lapsed.


Whether or not the CA erred in revoking the deed of donation






“We find unmeritorious petitioner’s argument that since there was no effective and real partition of the subject lot there exists no basis for the charge of usurpation and hence there is also no basis for finding ingratitude against him.

It was established that petitioner Noceda occupied not only the portion donated to him by

Directo but he also fenced the whole area of Lot C which belongs to Directo; thus, petitioner’s act

of occupying the portion pertaining to Directo without the latter’s knowledge and consent is an

act of usurpation which is an offense against the property of the donor and considered as an act of ingratitude of a donee against the donor. The law does not require conviction of the donee; it is enough that the offense be proved in the action for revocation.

Donee alleged that he usurped donor’s property in the 1st week of September 1985 while the

complaint for revocation was filed on September 16, 1986; thus, more than one (1) year had

passed from the alleged usurpation by petitioner of private respondent’s share in Lot 1121.

Article 769 expressly states that:

a. the donor must file the action to revoke his donation within one year from the time he had knowledge of the ingratitude of the done; and that;

b. it must be shown that it was possible for the donor to institute the said action within the same period. The concurrence of these two requisites must be shown by the donee in order to bar the present action, which he failed to do so. He reckoned the one year prescriptive period from the occurrence of the usurpation and not from the time the latter had the knowledge of the usurpation. He also failed to prove that at the time Directo acquired knowledge of his usurpation, it was possible for him to institute an action for revocation of her donation.

Heirs of Cesario Velasquez vs. CA and Heirs of Anatalia De Guzman (2000)

1.Spouses Leoncia de Guzman and Cornelio Aquino died intestate sometime in 1945 and 1947, respectively and werechildless. Leoncia de Guzman was survived by her sisters Anatalia de Guzman (mother of P) and Tranquilina de Guzman(grandmother of R).

2.(1989) R filed a complaint for annulment, partition and damages against P for the latters’ refusal to partition the conjugal properties of the Spouses Aquino.They pray for the order of partition of the properties between P and R in equalshares and to order the P to render an accounting of the produce of the land in question from the time defendants forciblytook possession until partition shall have been effected.WHYYY? R alleged that before Leoncia de Guzman died, she called for a conference, which had been attended byCesario Velasquez, Anatalia De Guzman and petitioners Santiago Meneses and Tranquilina de Guzman, wherein Leonciatold Anatalia, Tranquilina and Cesario that the documents of donation and partition which she and her husband earlier executed were not signed by them as it was not their intention to give away all the properties to Cesario because Anataliawho is one of her sisters had several children to support. Cesario then promised to divide the properties equally and togive the plaintiffs one-half (1/2) thereof; that they are entitled to ½ of each of all the properties in question being thechildren of Anatalia. BUT P forcibly took possession of all the properties and despite Rs’ repeated demands for partition,P refused.

3.P counter-claimed that during the lifetime of spouses Aquino, they had already disposed of their properties in favor of petitioners’ predecessors-in-interest, Cesario and Camila de Guzman and petitioners Anastacia and Jose Velasquez; thatthere was no conference happened; and that the instant case is already barred by res judicata since there had been three previous cases involving the same parties, subject matter and cause of action which were all dismissed.

4 .( 1 9 9 2 ) T C rul ed i n f a v our o f R .

The Court found Santiago Meneses and his testimony were credible

. He is 80 yearsold testified spontaneously in a clear, straight forward and convincing manner. Santiago said there was indeed aconference and that he came across an affidavit of Cesario Velasquez notarized by Atty. Elpidio Barrozo stating that he isan adopted

son of Spouses Aquino which, is however, not supported by evidence (a court order). Spouses Aquino whowere childless, therefore, had Anatalia and Tranquilina as their legal heirs

notwithstanding the claims of donacionpropter nuptias and conveyance to Cesario, Camila, Anastacia and Jose.

In addition, R failed to prove their allegations that the Spouses Aquino disposed of their

properties during their lifetime.

Mejo discriminating kasi sabi ng TC

: Petitioner Eliseo Velasquez is a lawyer and his co-defendant brothers are retiredgovernment officials. On the other hand, the respondents are simple, innocent country folks who have not obtainedsubstantial level of education. The Court

believes and so holds that the petitioners manipulated the transfer untothemselves all the properties of Spouses Aquino

; thus, depriving the respondents their shares in the inheritance, to their prejudice and damage.5.(1995) CA affirmed decision. CA rejected the defense of res judicata which was never pleaded nor raised earlier, and for that reason was deemed waived. The appellate court also dismissed the claim of prescription as an action for partition isimprescriptible. As regards the previous transfers executed in favor of P,

the court affirmed the trial court’s findingthat the transfers were repudiated before the death of


. (1996) Motion for Recon was denied.

Issue: W/N private respondents were the legal heirs of Spouses Aquino.

Held: NO. P: (1) The instant case is barred by res judicata. (2) Santiago Meneses failed to prove the nullity of the Deeds of Conveyance andDeeds of Donation executed by the Spouses Aquino. (3) If there was no nullity of the said deeds, private respondents were not thelegal heirs of Spouses Aquino. (4) Partition is the proper action in this case.

R: (1) The issue of res judicata has been sufficiently discussed and considered and the TC opted to inquire into their legitimategrievance and came up with a judicious determination of the case on the merits. (2) and (3) no answer. (4) No, the court correctlyruled that the instant action for partition is proper.

SC: (1) Contrary to CA’s decision that the defense of res judicata was never pleaded nor raised earlier, and for that reason wasdeemed waived, the records show that it was raised in the

petitioners’ Amended Answer filed before the trial court. On thisground alone, the trial

court should have already dismissed this case. However, SC chose to re solve the case, disregarding procedural issues for the dispense of substantial justice.

(2) TRUE. No evidence to support factual findings on Santiago Meneses’ claims of holding of conference and Cesario’s adoption papers. (3) TRUE.

ON DEEDS OF DONATION:A donation as a mode of acquiring ownership results in an effective transfer of title over the property from the donor to the doneeand the donation is perfected from the moment the donor knows of the acceptance by the donee. And once a donation is accepted,the donee becomes the absolute owner of the property donated.



15, 1919)





in favor

of Cesario


and Camila de Guzman


the third



sixth parcels including a portion of the second parcel has become the properties of the spouses V

elasquez since 1919.The


of donation









performance of the marriage and the other causes mentioned in article 86 Code. b. (Apr 10, 1939)

of the Family

Donacion inter vivos

in favor of petitioners Anastacia and Jose Velasquez.The donation inter vivos may berevoked only for the reasons provided in Articles 760, 764 and 765 of the Civil Code.The alleged reason

for the repudiation of the deed, i.e, that the Aquino spouses did not intend to give away all their

propertiessince Anatalia (Leoncia’s sister) had several children to support is not one of the

grounds for revocation of donation either inter vivos or propter nuptias, although the donation might be inofficious.

ON DEEDS OF CONVEYANCE:The Aquino spouses had disposed the four parcels of land during their lifetime and the documents were duly notarized so that these documents enjoy the presumption of validity. Such presumption has not been overcome by private respondent SantiagoMeneses with clear and convincing evidence. Petitioners were able to establish that these four parcels of land were validlyconveyed to them by the Aquino spouses hence they no longer formed part of the conjugal properties of the spouses at the time of their deaths.(4) The properties sought to be partitioned by private respondents have already been delivered to petitioners and therefore nolonger part of the hereditary estate which could be partitioned. Since no co-ownership exists between private respondents and petitioners, there is no reason to discuss the other arguments raised by the petitioners in support of their petition.


GR No. 106028 May 9, 2001


This is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court seeking the reversal of the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 26891which dismissed the petition for certiorari and prohibition with temporary restraining order.

The pertinent facts are as follows:

Petitioner Lilia Y. Gonzales received two Orders dated November 27 , 1990 and April 22, 1991 from the Regional Office of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), signed by the respondent DAR Regional Director Antonio S. Maraya, and issued pursuant to the operation land transfer program of the government under Presidential Decree (PD) No. 27. Petitioner was directed to surrender the titles to her land and to submit the other requirements of the respondent Land Bank of the Philippines, while the said bank was ordered to pay the petitioner an aggregate amount of P55,690.74 as compensation for the two parcels of land.

On December 20, 1991, the petitioner filed a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition with Temporary Restraining Order with the Court of Appeals to restrain the enforcement and to annul the said two Orders of the DAR Regional Director on the ground of lack or excess of jurisdiction, alleging that the petitioner never filed a land transfer claim and was not notified of nor heard in the execution of the final survey plans and the valuation of her land.

After requiring the respondents to file their Comment, the Court of Appeals rendered a Decision dated June 29, 1992, denying due course to, and dismissing the petition for failure of the petitioners to exhaust administrative remedies. The Court of Appeals also held that Certiorari cannot be used by the petitioners as a substitute for appeal of the assailed issuances.


Is the Court of Appeals committed an error of law in dismissing the petition for failing to exhaust administrative remedies?


Hence, the proper procedure which the petitioner should have taken is to move for a reconsideration of the orders of the Regional Director, or to go directly to the DARAB, or to its executive adjudicator in the region, the Regional Agrarian Reform Adjudicator (RARAD). Prior resort to these administrative bodies will not only satisfy the rule on exhaustion of administrative remedies, but may likewise prove advantageous to the parties as the proceedings will be conducted by experts, and will not be limited by the technical rules of procedure and evidence. From there, the petitioner has yet another forum available--the Special Agrarian Courts which are the final determinants of cases involving land valuation or determination of just compensation.

SECTION 1. Primary, Original and Appellate Jurisdiction. The Agrarian Reform Adjudicatory Board shall have primary jurisdiction, both original and appellate, to determine and adjudicate all agrarian disputes, cases, controversies, and matters or incidents involving the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program under Republic Act No.6657, Executive Order Nos. 229, 228 and 129-A, Republic Act No.3844 as amended by Republic Act No.6389, Presidential Decree No.27 and other agrarian laws and their implementing rules and regulations.Specifically, such jurisdiction shall extend over but not be limited to the cases involving the valuation of land, and determination and payment of just compensation, fixing and

collection of lease rentals, disturbance compensation, amortization payments, and similar disputes concerning the functions of the Land Bank.Thus, the procedural short-cut taken by the petitioner which finds no justification both in law and in jurisprudence must be considered fatal to the petitioner's cause of action. Accordingly, we rule that the Court of Appeals committed no error in dismissing the Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition


G.R. No. 11248 Topic:Prescriptive period to revoke donations

Leoncio Imperial was the registered owner of a 32,837-squaremeter parcel of land. On July 7, 1951, Leoncio sold the said lotfor P1.00 to his acknowledged natural son, petitioner herein,who then acquired title over the land and proceeded tosubdivide it into several lots. Petitioner and privaterespondents admit that despite the contract's designation asone of "Absolute Sale", the transaction was in fact adonation.

On July 28, 1953, Leoncio filed a complaint for annulment of the said Deed of Absolute Sale, on the ground that he wasdeceived by petitioner herein into signing the said document.The dispute, however, was resolved through a compromiseagreement, under which terms: (1) Leoncio recognized thelegality and validity of the rights of petitioner to the landdonated; and (2) petitioner agreed to sell a designated 1,000-square meter portion of the donated land, and to deposit theproceeds thereof in a bank, for the convenient disposal of Leoncio. In case of Leoncio's death, it was agreed that thebalance of the deposit will be withdrawn by petitioner todefray burial costs.

On January 8, 1962, and pending execution of the above judgment, Leoncio died,

leaving only two heirs --- the hereinpetitioner, who is his acknowledged natural son, and an

adopted son, Victor


. On March 8, 1962, Victor wassubstituted in place of Leoncio in the

above-mentioned case,and it was he who moved for execution of judgment. OnMarch 15, 1962,

the motion for execution was duly granted.Fifteen years thereafter, Victor died single and

without issue,survived only by his natural father, Ricardo Villalon. Fouryears hence, or on September 25, 1981, Ricardo died, leavingas his only heirs his two children, Cesar and Teresa Villalon.Five years thereafter, Cesar and Teresa filed a complaint forannulment of the donation with the Regional Trial Court of Legazpi City, docketed as Civil Case No. 7646. Petitionermoved to dismiss on the ground of res judicata, by virtue of the compromise judgment rendered by the Court of FirstInstance of Albay. The trial court granted the motion todismiss, but the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court'sorder and remanded the case for further proceedings.On October 18, 1989, Cesar and Teresa filed an amendedcomplaint in the same case, Civil Case No. 7646, for"Annulment of Documents, Reconveyance and Recovery of Possession" with the RTC, seeking the nullification of theDeed of Absolute Sale affecting the above property, ongrounds of fraud, deceit and inofficiousness. In the amendedcomplaint, it was alleged that petitioner caused Leoncio toexecute the donation by taking undue advantage of thelatter's physical weakness and mental unfitness, and that theconveyance of said property in favor of petitioner impairedthe

legitime of Victor


, their natural brother andpredecessor-in-interest.

The RTC held the donation to be inofficious and impairing thelegitime of Victor. The Court of Appeals affirmed the RTCDecision in toto.

Issue: WON private respondents' action is barred byprescription, laches and estoppels

What, then, is the prescriptive period for an action for reduction of an inofficious donation? The Civil Code specifiesthe following instances of reduction or revocation of donations:

(1) four years, in cases of subsequent birth,appearance, recognition or adoption of a child;16 [Civil Code,Art. 763.] (2) four years, for non-compliance with conditionsof the donation;17 [Id., Art. 764.] and (3) at any time duringthe lifetime of the donor and his relatives entitled to support,for failure of the donor to reserve property for his or theirsupport.18 [Id., Art. 750.] Interestingly, donations as in theinstant case,19 [Governed by Articles 752 and 771 of the CivilCode, which read thus:Art. 752. xxx (N)o person may give orreceive, by way of donation, more than what he may give orreceive by will.

The donation shall be inofficious in all that it may exceed thislimitation.

Art.771. Donations which in accordance with the provisionsof Article 752, are inofficious bearing in mind the estimatednet value of the donor's property at the time of his death,shall be reduced with regard to the excess, but this reductionshall not prevent the donations from taking effect during thelife of the donor, nor shall it bar the donee fromappropriating the fruits. xxx] the reduction of which hingesupon the allegation of impairment of legitime, are notcontrolled by a particular prescriptive period, for whichreason we must resort to the ordinary rules of prescription.Under Article 1144 of the Civil Code, actions upon anobligation created by law must be brought within ten yearsfrom the time the right of action accrues. Thus, the ten- yearprescriptive period applies to the obligation to reduceinofficious donations, required under Article 771 of the CivilCode, to the extent that they impair the legitime of compulsory heirs.

From when shall the ten-year period be reckoned? The caseof Mateo vs. Lagua, 29 SCRA 864, which involved thereduction for inofficiousness of a donation propter nuptias,recognized that the cause of action to enforce a legitimeaccrues upon the death of the donor-decedent. Clearly so,since it is only then that the net estate may be ascertainedand on which basis, the legitimes may be determined.It took private respondents 24 years since the death of Leoncio to initiate this case. The action, therefore, has longprescribed.

Private respondents are also guilty of estoppel by laches. Itmay be recalled that Leoncio died on January 8, 1962. Fifteenyears later, Victor died, leaving as his sole heir RicardoVillalon, who also died four years later. While Victor wasalive, he gave no indication of any interest to contest thedonation of his deceased father. As we have discussed earlier,the fact that he actively participated in Civil Case No. 1177 didnot amount to a renunciation of his inheritance and does notpreclude him from bringing an action to claim his legitime.These are matters that Victor could not possibly be unawareof, considering that he is a lawyer.21 Ricardo Villalon waseven a lessee of a portion of the donated property, and couldhave instituted the action as sole heir of his natural son, or atthe very least, raised the matter of legitime by way of counterclaim in an ejectment case filed against him bypetitioner in 1979. Neither does it help private respondents'cause that five years have elapsed since the death of Ricardoin 1981 before they filed their complaint with the RTC

Republic of the Philippines v. Leon Silim and Ildefonsa Mangubat (2001)

Silim and Mangubat donated a parcel of land in favor of the Bureau of Public Schools, Municipality of Malangas, Zamboanga Del Sur, on the condition that said land shall be used exclusively and forever foreducational purposes. However, as the said parcel of land was too small for the construction of the planned Bagong Lipunan School Building, the Province of Zamboanga, through its division superintendent, executed a deed of exchange in favor of a new and suitable location. Consequently, whatever was built on the donated lot was dismantled and transferred to the new fitting location.

The issue arose when the donators found out that Vice-Mayor Wilfredo Palma took the land for himself and constructed his house thereon. Silim and Mangubat sought to have the donation declared null and void on the ground that the condition of the donation was violated.

ISSUE: Whether or not the donation was valid in view of the fact that the school, which it was conditioned on, was never built thereon.

RULING: YES. The Court upheld the validity of the donation. Firstly, it ruled that there was a valid acceptance in accordance with Arts. 745 and 749 of the Civil Code: it was made personally or through an agent, and it was made in a public document. Anent the second contention concerning the non-fulfillment of the consideration, the Court ruled that contrary to Silim and Mangubat’s argument, the parcel of land was used precisely for school purposes. The exchange of the donated lot for a bigger lot was done in pursuance with the condition that they (Silim and Mangubat) imposed. Remember: the lot was exchanged with a bigger lot to give way for the construction of Bagong Lipunan Elementary School and for no other reason.

The exclusivity of the purpose was not altered or affected. In fact, the exchange of the lot for a much bigger one was in furtherance and enhancement of the purpose of the donation. The acquisition of the bigger lot paved the way for the release of funds for the construction of Bagong Lipunan school building which could not be accommodated by the limited area of the donated lot.


FACTS Spouses Danlag own six parcels of land. To four parcels of land, they executed a donation mortis causa in favor of respondent Mercedes Danlag-Pilapil, reserving donor's rights to amend, cancel, or revoke the donation and to sell or encumber such properties. Years later, they executed another donation, this time inter vivos, to six parcels of land in favor of respondents, reserving

their rights to the fruits of the land during their lifetime and for prohibiting the donee to sell or dispose the properties donated. Subsequently, the spouses sold 2 parcels to herein petitioners, spouses Gestopa, and eventually revoking the donation. Respondent filed a petition to quiet title, stating that she had already become the owner of the parcels of land. Trial Court ruled in favor of petitioners, but CA reversed.

ISSUE: Whether the (second) donation was inter vivos or mortis causa

RULING It was donation inter vivos. The spouses were aware of the difference between the two donations, and that they needed to execute another deed of donation inter vivos, since it has a different application to a donation mortis causa. Also, the court stated four reasons to the matter: (1) that the spouses donated the parcels of land out of love and affection, a clear indication of a donation inter vivos; (2) the reservation of a lifetime usufruct; (3) reservation of sufficient properties for maintenance that shows the intention to part with their six lot; and (4) respondent's acceptance, contained in the deed of donation. Once a deed of donation has been accepted, it cannot be revoked, except for officiousness or ingratitude, which the spouses failed to invoke.