Thursday, February 11, 2016

Lawyer disbarred for notarizing SPA of dead plaintiffs | Headlines, News, The Philippine Star |

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MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court on Wednesday released a decision to remove a lawyer from law practice for notarizing documents of dead people.

The SC released a unanimous decision promulgated on January 26 that disbarred lawyer Rex Resuena from the practice of law after being found guilty of malpractice as notary public and violation of the lawyer’s oath and Rule 1.01, Canon 1 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.

In 2003, Resuena notarized the special power of attorney (SPA) for plaintiffs namely Virginia Perez, Marcella Perez, Amador Perez, Gloria Perez, Gracia Perez and Valentino Perez, in an ejectment or forcible entry case against Gregory Fabay. The Municipal Trial Court of, Camarines Sur, ruled in favor of these plaintiffs.

However, the Regional Trial Court of Camarines Sur, Branch 32 later on learned that both Amador and Valentino Perez were already dead.

"A notary public should not notarize a document unless the persons who signed the same are the very same persons who executed and personally appeared before him to attest to the contents and truth of what are stated therein. The purpose of this requirement is to enable the notary public to verify the genuineness of the signature of the acknowledging party and to ascertain that the document is the party's free act and deed," the SC’s ruling read.

Fabay filed a complaint for disbarment against Resuena alleging that the accused particularly violated the provisions of the notarial law by notarizing an SPA even when the Amado and Valentino were already dead long before the execution of the SPA. Amado died Sept. 7, 1988 while Valentino died on April 26, 1976.
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The complainant added that Resuena notarized the complaint for ejectment in 2003 where Apolo Perez was made to appear as attorney-in-fact of Amador and Valentino, when Resuenas could not have possibly authorized him since they were already dead.

Fabay said that Resuena participated in the barangay conciliation which is not allowed by law.

Resuena denied the allegations saying he did not deny Amado and Valentino were already dead during the execution and notarization of the SPA. He said the SPA were signed by and or represented by Remedior.

The accused added that the complaint against him was tainted with malice as it was only filed in 2010 when it was allegedly prepared in 2006. He also presented a certificate certificate issued by the barangay captain showing there was no record of his attendance in the barangay conciliation for his defense.

Resuena insisted that Amador and Valentino were not included in those who personally appeared before him and that there was no misinterpretation committed in the notarization of SPA.

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines Commission on Bar Discipline (IBP-CBD) found Resuena to have violated the provisions of the notarial law as aside from signing the SPA of deceased without proper authority, it also found that other parties in the SPA, Gracia and Gloria, were both residing in the United States but were also represented by Remedios.

Fabay then moved for reconsideration and asked Resuena to be penalized as an erring member of the bar and not just as notary public instead of Fabay’s earlier prayer for Resuena’s suspension.

The IBP-Board of Governors denied the motion but ruled two years disqualification from notarial practice. The SC however ruled to perpetually disqualify Resuena from being commissioned as a notary public.

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