Bar Q and A #23

No, Angie is not correct. The Picasso painting is not given or donated by Jennifer to Brad. She merely “placed it in his bedroom.” Hence, she is still the owner of the painting. Not being the owner of the Picasso painting, Brad cannot validly bequeath the same to Angie (Art. 930). Even assuming that the painting was impliedly given or donated by Jennifer to Brad, the donation is nevertheless void for not being in writing. The Picasso painting must be worth more that 5,000 pesos. Under Art. 748, the donation and acceptance of a movable worth more than 5,000 pesos must be in writing, otherwise the donation is void, Jennifer remained the owner of the Picasso painting and Brad could not have validly disposed of said painting in favor of Angie in his will.

Rosa is correct because the donation is void. The property donated was an immovable. For such donation to be valid, Article 749 of the New Civil Code requires both the donation and the acceptance to be in a public instrument. There being no showing that Amanda's acceptance was made in a public instrument, the donation is void. The contention, that the donation is onerous and therefore, need not comply with Article 749 for validity is without merit. The donation is not onerous because it did not impose on Amanda the obligation to pay the balance on the purchase price or the arrears in real estate taxes. Amanda took it upon herself to pay those amounts voluntarily. For a donation to be onerous, the burden must be imposed by the donor on the donee. In the problem, there is no such burden imposed by the donor on the donee. The donation not being onerous, it must comply with the formalities of Article 749.

As a general rule, a person cannot donate something which he cannot dispose of at the time of the donation. (Art. 751)

A person cannot dispose of his corpse through an act inter vivos, i.e., an act to take effect during his lifetime. Before his death there is no corpse to dispose. But he is allowed to do so through an act mortis causa, i.e., an act to take effect upon his death.

Ferdinand has no right to recover the land. It is true that the donation was revocable because of breach of the conditions. But until and unless the donation was revoked, it remained valid. Hence, Spouses Michael and Linda had no right to sell the land to Ferdinand. One cannot give what he does not have. What the donors should have done first was to have the donation annulled or revoked. And after that was done, they could validly have disposed of the land in favor of Ferdinand.

The donation may be revoked. The non-establishment of the medical college on the donated property was a resolutory condition imposed on the donation by the donor. Although the Deed of Donation did not fix the time for the establishment of the medical college, the failure of the donee to establish the medical college after fifty (50) years from the making of the donation should be considered as occurrence of the resolutory condition, and the donation may now be revoked. While the general rule is that in case the period is not fixed in the agreement of the parties, the period must be fixed first by the court before the obligation may be demanded, the period of fifty    (50)       years was more than enough time for the done to comply with the condition. Hence, in this case, there is no more need for the court to fix the period because such procedure with the condition. (Central Philippine University v. CA, G.R. No. 112127, July 17, 1995)

I would advise Maria not to bother running after Juan for the latter to make good his promise. This is because a promise is not an actionable wrong that allows a party to recover especially when she has not suffered damages resulting from such promise. A promise does not create an obligation on the part of Juan because it is not something which arises from a contract, law, quasi-contracts or quasi-delicts. (Art, 1157) Under Art. 1182, Juan's promise to Maria is void because a conditional obligation depends upon the sole will of the obligor.  As regards  Perla,  the document is an express acknowledgment of a debt, and the promise to pay what he owes her when he feels like it is equivalent to a promise to pay when his means permits him to do so, and is deemed to be one with an indefinite period under Art. 1180. Hence the amount is recoverable after Perla asks the court to set the period as provided by Art. 1197, par. 2.

Yes, Roland is liable under the contract as far as Lady Love is concerned. He is liable for damages under Article 1170 of the Civil Code since he contravened the tenor of his obligation. Not being a contracting party, Sweet Taste is not bound by the contract, but it can be held liable under Art. 1314. The basis of its liability is not prescribed by contract but is founded on quasi-delict, assuming that Sweet Taste knew of the contract. Article 1314 of the Civil Code provides that any third person who induces another to violate his contract shall be liable for damages to the other contracting party.

No, the contentions of Printado are untenable. Printado having failed to pay for the printing paper covered by the delivery invoices on time, Suplico has the right to cease making further delivery. And the latter did not violate the order agreement. (Integrated Packaging Corporation v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 115117, June 8, 2000. Suplico cannot be held liable  for damages, for breach of contract, as it was not, he who violated the order agreement, but Printado Suplico cannot be held liable for Printado’s breach of contract with Publico. He is not  a  party  to  the agreement entered into by and between Printado and Publico. Theirs is not a stipulation pour atrui. Such contracts could not affect third persons like Suplico because of the basic civil law principle of relativity of contracts which provides that contracts can only bind the parties who entered into it, and it cannot favor or prejudice a third person, even if he is aware of such contract and has acted with knowledge thereof. (Integrated Packaging Corporation v. CA, G.R. No. 115117, June 8, 2000)