Can a donation that had been made be canceled? If so, until when can the cancelation be made?
Donation is an act of pure liberality whereby a person, commonly called the donor, gratuitously disposes of a thing or right in favor of another person, commonly called the donee, who accepts it (Article 725, New Civil Code). Once the donation is made, it is considered a perfected contract between the parties from the moment the donor obtains knowledge of the acceptance by the donee of such donation (Article 734, Id).
Nevertheless, a perfected donation may still be revoked for causes provided for under the law. For instance, a donation made by a person who has no legitimate, legitimated or illegitimate children or descendants may be revoked or reduced if: (a) the donor, after the donation, should have legitimate, legitimated or illegitimate children, even if they be posthumous; (b) the child of the donor, whom the latter believes to be dead when the donation was made, turn out to be living; or (c) the donor should subsequently adopt a minor child (Article 760, Id). It bears stressing, however, that the donation shall be revoked or reduced only insofar as the portion that may be freely disposed of by will, and such revocation or reduction must be made within four (4) years from the birth of his first child, from the legitimation, recognition or adoption, from the judicial declaration of filiation, or from the time information was received regarding the existence of the child who was believed to be dead (Articles 761 and 763, Id).
A perfected donation may also be revoked by the donor if the donee fails to comply with any of the conditions set by the former. Consequently, the donee must return the property donated. Any alienation or mortgage made by him shall be considered void. Nevertheless, the action for revocation prescribes within four years from such non-compliance (Article 764, Id).
Finally, a donation may be revoked by the donor for reasons of ingratitude, to wit: (1) The donee commits an offense against the person, honor or property of the donor, the latter’s wife or children who are under his parental authority; (2) The donee imputes to the donor any criminal offense, or any act involving moral turpitude, even though the donee is able to prove it, unless the crime was committed against the donee, his/her spouses or children who are under his/her parental authority; or (3) The donee unduly refuses to give support when he/she is legally or morally bound to give support to the donor (Article 765, Id). The action for revocation must be brought within one year from the time the donor obtains knowledge of the fact of ingratitude and it was possible for him to bring the action (Article 769, Id.).
We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to email@example.com