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ARID, Hannah Mhae G.

DONATION
SPOUSES GESTOPA v. COURT OF APPEALS
Facts: Spouses Diego and Catalina Danlag were the owners of six parcels of unregistered lands. They
executed three (3) deeds of donation mortis causa in favour of private respondent Merecedes DanlagPilapil (Diegos illegitimate child). All deeds contained the reservation of the rights of the donors 910 to
amend, cancel or revoke the donation during their lifetime, and 92) to sell, mortgage, or encumber the
properties donated during the donors lifetime, if deemed necessary.
Years later, Diego Danlag, with the consent of his wife, catalina Danlag, executed another deed
of donation inter vivos covering the aforementioned parcels of land and two others in favour of Mercedes
containing the two conditions, that 91) the Danlag spouses shall continue to enjoy the fruits of the land
during their lifetime, and that (2) the done cannot sell or dispose of the land during the lifetime of the said
spouses, without their prior consent and approval. Thereafter, Mercedes caused the transfer of the parcels
tax declarations to her name and paid the taxes on them.
Subsequently, the spouses Danlag sold 2 parcels to herein petitioners Spouses Gestopa, and
executed a deed of revocation on the donation inter vivos covering the six parcels of land given to private
respondent Mercedes.
Mercedes filed with the RTC a petition against Danlags and Gestopas for quieting of title stating
the she had already obtained ownership over the six parcels of land. The Trial OCurt ruled in favour of
Dan;ags and Gestopas, but CA reversed. Hence, this appeal.
Issue:

WON the donor intended to transfer the ownership over the properties upon the execution of the
deed.
WON the revocation was valid.

Held:
1. SC affirmed the decision of CA. As may be aptly analysed form the provisions of the deed, (1) the
granting clause shows that Diego donated the properties out of love and affection for the donee which is a
mark of DONATION INTER VIVOS; (2) the reservation of lifetime usufruct indicates that the donor
intended to transfer the naked ownership over the properties; (3) donor reserved sufficient propertoies for
his maintenance in accordance with his standing in society, indicating that the donor initended to part with
the 6 parcels; (4) done accepted the donation in which in the case of Alejandro v. Geraldez, it is said that
acceptance clause is a mark that a donation is a donation inter vivos because a donation mortis causa
being in the form of a will does not require an acceptance from the done during the donors lifetime. CA
was right that the right to dispose of the properties belonged to the done and the donors right to give
consent was merely intended to protect his usufructuary rights.
The attending circumstances in the execution of the donation in this case demonstrated the real
intent of the donor to transfer ownership over the parcels of land upon execution of the deed. It is to be
noted that prior to the execution of donation inter vivos, Danlag sps already executed 3 donation mortis

causa which means that they were aware of the difference of the 2 types of donations. If they did not
intend to donate inter vivos, they would not again donate the lots already donated mortis causa.
*Gestopas aver that Mercedes tax declarations in her name cannot be a basis in determining donors
intent because it is easy to get tax declarations and they are not proof of ownership. Supreme Court stated
that unless proven otherwise, there is a presumption of regularity in the performance of official duties
and petitioners did NOT overcome this presumption in the issuance of the tax declarations. And CA was
correct to say that tax declarations were not referred to as proofs of ownership but ONLY as evidence
of the intent by the donor to transfer ownership.
2.

A valid donation, once accepted, becomes irrevocable, except on account of officiousness, failure by the
done to comply with the charges imposed in the donation, or ingratitude. However, the donor spouses din
not invoke any of these reasons in the deed of revocation. Mercedes allegedly intensely prohibited the
donor to gather fruits from the coconut trees but the SC said that nothing on record showed that Mercedes
indeed prohibited the donor from doing so and assuming that Mercedes really did, this could hardly be
considered an act under Art. 765 of the New Civil Code which will warrant the revocation of the
donation. Hence, supposed revocation had no legal effect.