I donated a land five years ago to a foundation, thinking that I will no longer have a family because I was already 55 years old then. As a condition, the foundation shall use the land and build a house of worship within two years from the signing of the deed of donation. I found out, however, that the land I donated was unused and upon verification with the Registry of Deeds, the title is still in my name. I am planning to revoke the donation. Can I still do this?
Under the law, a donation may be revoked by the donor if the donee fails to fulfill any of the conditions stipulated in the deed of donation. The donor has four (4) years to do this, to be reckoned from the time the donee neglected satisfying the condition/s stated in the donation. This is explicitly provided by Article 764 of the New Civil Code of the Philippines, as follows:
“Art. 764. The 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.
In this case, the property donated shall be returned to the donor, the alienations made by the donee and the mortgages imposed thereon by him being void, with the limitations established, with regard to third persons, by the Mortgage Law and the Land Registration Laws.
This 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.
Applying the foregoing to your situation, it appears that you may revoke the donation you made in favor of the foundation mentioned in your letter, for its failure to comply with the condition as set forth in the deed of donation. You have four (4) years to revoke the donation, to start after the expiration of a two-year-period to comply with that condition. Considering that, according to you, five (5) years have already passed since the execution of the deed of donation, it appears that you still have approximately one (1) year to revoke the same based on the aforesaid ground.
Again, we find it necessary to mention that this opinion is solely based on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. The opinion may vary when the facts are changed or elaborated.
We hope that we were able to enlighten you on the matter.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org