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[ GR No. 6524, Aug 04, 1911 ]



19 Phil. 441

[ G. R. No. 6524, August 04, 1911 ]




The purpose  of  this  action was 'to  recover from  the defendants the parcels  of  land described in paragraphs 4 and 5 of the complaint.

The plaintiffs allege  that  they are  the  only heirs  of Maria Andrada, deceased; that Maria  Andrada died  intestate; that after the death  of Maria Andrada, the defendant, Felix Sevilla,  took possession of the land in question;  that Felix Sevilla sold a portion  of the said land to his co-defendant, Corazon  Ch. Veloso;  that  the plaintiffs, as  the only heirs of Maria Andrada,  are  entitled  to the possession  of  the property in question,  and that the defendants are wrongfully withholding from  them the possession  of the same.

The plaintiffs prayed  for the  possession of the land in question, together with damages in the  sum of P1,000 for the wrongful withholding  of the same,  and  costs.

The defendants answered the petition of the plaintiffs and alleged that Maria Andrada, on the 9th of November, 1904, by means of a public document, "de donacion absoluta e  irrevocable" gave to  the defendant,  Felix  Sevilla,  the parcels of land referred to in paragraphs 4 and 5 of the complaint;  that  at  the  time of the said  donation Maria Andrada was the absolute owner of the said property and that the same was free from any incumbrance whatsoever; that the said donation was ratified by Maria Andrada in three other public documents, bearing: date of the  16th of November,  1904, the 10th of January, 1905, and the 10th of April,  1905, respectively, and that the plaintiifs knew of the said  donation as early as  the 16th of August, 1905.

After hearing the evidence adduced during the  trial of the cause, the lower court found  that  the said donation was executed in  violation  of the provisions of article 634 of the Civil Code and was, therefore, null  and void.  Said article 634 provides  that:
"A donation may  comprise all of the actual property of the donor or a part of it, provided he reserves in fee simple or in usufruct what is required  for his. support in a  condition  corresponding to  his circumstances."
The evident theory of the lower  court was that a donation otall of the actual property  of a donor or a part of it without a  reservation in  fee simple  or in usufruct  was void ab initio.   This interpretation of said section is not justified.  A donation of all of the  actual  property of the donor or a part of it without reservation in fee simple or  in usufruct  is not  void,  but voidable  only.  Any other interpretation of said article would  place a limitation upon the right of owners of property to dispose of the same.  The article, however, does give to the donor a right to have the donation declared null and void  if  made in contravention of its provisions.  (5 Manresa,  pp. 121-130.)   The donation  was made on the  9th of November,  1904, and was ratified three times after that, dates as above stated.

Maria Andrada died on the 23d of January, 1908.   There is no proof in the record that she ever took any steps to have said donation annulled, or that she  ever  complained to any person or persons whatever concerning the provisions of said  donation.

The foregoing1 would seem to be sufficient discussion of the questions presented to dispose of them, but an examination of  document marked No. 3, dated November 9, 1904, the same being one of the documents ratifying  the  said donation, discloses  that Maria  Andrada, in paragraph 1 of said  document,  did  make the following reservation:
"1.  That there is not included in the property I gave to Felix  Sevilla y Macam  on November 9, 1904, the monthly installment of fifty pesos  which I then reserved to myself for suitable living  expenses and other needs, which sum, while I  live, shall be derived from either  the rental or the sale of  the property given to Felix Sevilla y Macam; and in fact,  to date,  I have received  monthly not only fifty, but eighty-five pesos, in addition to what I have also asked and received from Felix Sevilla out of  what he earns in his office."
With  this reservation in the donation, certainly there has been no violation of the provisions of said article 634.

Upon  a full consideration of all of the facts  adduced during the trial  of the  cause, we find no foundation for the claim of the plaintiffs.  There is no proof that the donee failed at any  time  to  comply with the provisions of  said donation, nor is there any proof that Maria Andrada  ever attempted to revoke the said donation.

For all the foregoing reasons,  we hold that the judgment of the lower court should  be reversed and that a judgment should be entered absolving the defendants from any liability under the said  complaint, and without any  finding as to costs, it is so ordered.

Torres, Mapa, Carson, and Moreland, JJ., concur.