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Arcaba vs. Tabancura Vda.

De Batocael
G.R. No. 146683 November 22, 2001

Facts:
Francisco Comille and his wife Zosima Montallana became the registered owners of two lots in
Zamboanga del Norte. After the death of Zosima, Francisco and his mother-in-law executed a deed of extrajudicial
partition with waiver of rights, in which the latter waived her share of the property. Thereafter, Francisco
registered the lot in his name. Having no children to take care of him after his retirement, Francisco asked his
niece Leticia, the latters cousin Luzviminda and petitioner Cirila Arcaba, to take care of his house and store.
Conflicting testimonies were offered as to the nature of the relationship between Cirila and Francisco.
Leticia said that the previous party was lovers since they slept in the same room while Erlinda claimed that
Francisco told her that Cirila was his mistress. On the other hand, Cirila said she was mere helper and that
Francisco was too old for her.
A few months before Franciscos death, he executed an instrument denominated Deed of Donation
Inter Vivos in which he ceded a portion of the lot together with is house to Cirila, who accepted the donation in the
same instrument. The deed stated that the donation was being made in consideration of the faithful services
she had rendered over the past ten years. Thereafter, Francisco died and the respondents filed a complaint
against Cirila for declaration of nullity of a deed of donation inter vivos, recovery of possession and damages.
Respondents, who are nieces, nephews and heirs by intestate succession of Francisco, alleged that Cirila was the
common-law wife of Francisco and the donation inert vivos is void under Article 87 of the Family Code.

Issue:
Whether or not the deed of donation inter vivos executed by the late Francisco Comille be declared void under
Article 87 of the Family Code.

Ruling:
Where it has been established by preponderance of evidence that two persons lived together as husband
and wife without a valid marriage, the inescapable conclusion is that the donation made by one in favor of the
other is void under Article 87 of the Family Code.
Therefore, respondents having proven by preponderance of evidence that Cirila and Francisco lived
together as husband and wife without a valid marriage, the donation inter vivos is considered null and void.














Arcaba vs. Tabancura Vda De Batocael

FACTS:
Francisco Comille and his wife Zosima Montallana became the registered owners of Lot No. 437-A
located at Balintawak St. and Rizal Avenue in Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte in January
1956. Zosima died in 1980 hence Francisco and his mother in law executed a deed of extrajudicial
partition with waiver of rights, where the latter waived her share consisting of of the property in favor
of Francisco. Since Francisco do not have any children to take care of him after his retirement, he asked
Leticia, his niece, Leticias cousin, Luzviminda and Cirila Arcaba, the petitioner, who was then a widow
and took care of Franciscos house as well as the store inside.

According to Leticia, Francisco and Cirila were lovers since they slept in the same room. On the other
hand, Erlinda Tabancura, another niece of Francisco claimed that the latter told her that Cirila was his
mistress. However, Cirila defensed herself that she was a mere helper who could enter the masters
bedroom when Francisco asked her to and that Francisco was too old for her. She denied having sexual
intercourse with Francisco. When the nieces got married, Cirila who was then 34 year-old widow
started working for Francisco who was 75 year old widower. The latter did not pay him any wages as
househelper though her family was provided with food and lodging. Franciscos health deteriorated and
became bedridden. Tabancura testified that Franciscos only source of income was the rentals from his
lot near the public streets.
In January 1991, few months before Francisco died, he executed a Deed of Donation Inter Vivos where
he ceded a portion of Lot 437-A composed of 150 sq m., together with his house to Cirila who accepted
the same. The larger portion of 268 sq m. was left under his name. This was made in consideration of
the 10 year of faithful services of the petitioner. Atty Lacaya notarized the deed and was later
registered by Cirila as its absolute owner.
In Octoer 1991, Francisco died and in 1993, the lot received by Cirila had a market value of P57,105 and
assessed value of P28,550. The decedents nephews and nieces and his heirs by intestate succession
alleged that Cirila was the common-law wife of Francisco.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the deed of donation inter vivos executed by Francisco in Arcabas favor was valid.

HELD:
The court in this case considered a sufficient proof of common law relationship wherein donation is not
valid. The conclusion was based on the testimony of Tabancura and certain documents bearing the
signature of Cirila Comille such as application for business permit, sanitary permit and the death
certificate of Francisco. Also, the fact that Cirila did not demand her wages is an indication that she was
not simply a caregiver employee.

Cohabitation means more than sexual intercourse, especially when one of the parties is already old and
may no longer be interested in sex at the very least, cohabitation is a public assumption of men and
women holding themselves out to the public as such.
Hence, the deed of donation by Francisco in favor of Cirila is void under Art. 87 of the Family Code.
Arcaba vs. Tabancura Vda. De Batocael Case Digest
Arcaba vs. Tabancura Vda. De Batocael
G.R. No. 146683 November 22, 2001

Facts: Francisco Comille and his wife Zosima Montallana became the registered owners of two lots
in Zamboanga del Norte. After the death of Zosima, Francisco and his mother-in-law executed a
deed of extrajudicial partition with waiver of rights, in which the latter waived her share of the
property. Thereafter, Francisco registered the lot in his name. Having no children to take care of him
after his retirement, Francisco asked his niece Leticia, the latters cousin Luzviminda and petitioner
Cirila Arcaba, to take care of his house and store.

Conflicting testimonies were offered as to the nature of the relationship between Cirila and
Francisco. Leticia said that the previous party was lovers since they slept in the same room while
Erlinda claimed that Francisco told her that Cirila was his mistress. On the other hand, Cirila said
she was mere helper and that Francisco was too old for her.

A few months before Franciscos death, he executed an instrument denominated Deed of Donation
Inter Vivos in which he ceded a portion of the lot together with is house to Cirila, who accepted the
donation in the same instrument. The deed stated that the donation was being made in
consideration of the faithful services she had rendered over the past ten years. Thereafter,
Francisco died and the respondents filed a complaint against Cirila for declaration of nullity of a deed
of donation inter vivos, recovery of possession and damages. Respondents, who are nieces,
nephews and heirs by intestate succession of Francisco, alleged that Cirila was the common-law
wife of Francisco and the donation inert vivos is void under Article 87 of the Family Code.

Issue: Whether or not the deed of donation inter vivos executed by the late Francisco Comille be
declared void under Article 87 of the Family Code.

Ruling: Where it has been established by preponderance of evidence that two persons lived
together as husband and wife without a valid marriage, the inescapable conclusion is that the
donation made by one in favor of the other is void under Article 87 of the Family Code.

Therefore, respondents having proven by preponderance of evidence that Cirila and Francisco lived
together as husband and wife without a valid marriage, the donation inter vivos is considered null
and void.