Sale made by donee who failed to comply with conditions of the donation is void


Persida Acosta

Dear PAO,
Uncle Dindo is single and he is already 75 years of age. He had a farmland composing of three hectares. Allegedly, his younger brother Tony convinced him to donate the said land to his nephew who is the eldest son of Uncle Tony. The said donation was made with the condition that the donee shall shoulder all the medications of Uncle Dindo and this shall be taken from the income of the farmland.

The donee failed to comply with the conditions of the donation and he sold the land to a businessman. The buyer is now evicting Uncle Dindo from the said property. Uncle Dindo came to me for help. Can Uncle Dindo recover the property donated to the donee even if the said property has already been sold to another person?

Dear Arethra,
Under Article 764 of the New Civil Code of the Philippines, it is stated that:

“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 Land Registration Laws.

“This action shall prescribe after four years from the noncompliance with the condition, may be transmitted to the heirs of the donor, and may be exercised against the donee’s heirs”.

Based from the facts you have provided, your Uncle Dindo entered into a donation subject to conditions wherein his nephew had to shoulder his medications from the income of the subject farmland. The failure of his nephew to shoulder the medications of your Uncle Dindo is tantamount to non-compliance with the conditions of the donation as agreed upon, thus, rendering the donation ineffective. It then follows that the sale of the property subject of the donation is void; hence, the property may be returned to the donor subject to the proper recourse by the buyer against the donee.

Your Uncle Dindo can file an action for the revocation of the donation in order for him to recover the property he donated. The action for the revocation of the donation must be filed within four (4) years after the donee failed to comply with the conditions imposed by the donor.

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


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