Jan 16, 2020 @ 15:08

Can’t take back gifts: Hubby of Quirino daughter loses right to condo because of pre-nuptial deal

The Supreme Court (SC) has denied the petition of the husband of President Elpidio Quirino’s late daughter asserting rights over a Makati City condominium unit, citing the pre-nuptial agreement between the spouses.

In a recent 17-page decision, the SC 2nd Division affirmed the March 22, 2018 ruling of the Court of Appeals (CA) that upheld the 29 January 2014 order of the Makati City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 139 that dismissed the complaint filed by Francisco Delgado.

The SC affirmed that Francisco, represented by his son Jose Mari in the case, was deemed to have waived his implied trust over a unit in Urdaneta Apartments through the execution of an antenuptial agreement five days before the marriage on June 20, 1987.

The said agreement—drafted by Francisco’s own counsel, Romulo Mabanta Law Offices—stated that the spouses’ properties would be governed by complete separation of properties.

The agreement stipulated that the “maintenance, support and care of [wife Victoria Quirino Gonzales] shall be borne solely by him and any gift which [Francisco] may have bestowed or shall bestow on [Victoria] shall become her exclusive property.”

Francisco purchased a unit in the condominium, so the then-ailing Victoria could live next door to her daughter. But, he registered the property under the name of GQ Realty Development Corporation, which was established in 1984 for the sole purpose of holding Victoria’s properties after the death of her first husband Luis Gonzales.

This meant the condominium unit was considered a “gift” by Francisco to his wife which under the pre-nuptial agreement became her exclusive property. It said Francisco should have drafted a different provision that would prevent ambiguity.

“The waiver of Francisco’s alleged interests over the subject property — again only hypothetically admitting this to be true — is completely fathomable and understandable, given his professed true love and affection for Victoria,” read the decision penned by Associate Justice Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa.

The SC rejected Francisco’s argument that GQ Realty was not a party to the pre-nuptial agreement, noting that the corporation’s interest in the property was purely in name since it was Victoria’s holding company.

Besides, the SC said Francisco failed to present evidence that it was him who bought the condominium unit with his own money.

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