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G.R. No.

114829 March 1, 1995 signed by him but considering that I have to


strictly observe rules and regulations of the
MAXIMINO GAMIDO Y BUENAVENTURA, NBP, particularly on visit, I did not pursue
petitioner, anymore my intention to have it notarized
vs. before me.
NEW BILIBID PRISONS (NBP)
OFFICIALS, respondents. Secondly, that in notarizing the document, I
honestly feel and by heart and in good faith,
that as a notary public and as a practicing
lawyer, I could modestly contribute in the
DAVIDE, JR., J.: orderly administration of justice. The
Gamido family use to come in the office and
In the Resolution of 7 September 1994, we
in fact hiring the legal services of the
required Atty. Icasiano M. dela Rea of No. 42
undersigned but I refused to handle since I
National Road corner Bruger Subdivision,
am already pre-occupied in other cases of
Putatan, Muntinglupa, Metro Manila, to
similar importance. That on December 13,
show cause why no disciplinary action
1994 I receive a letter from Mr. Gamido, last
should be taken against him for making it
paragraph of which is read as follows:
appear in the jurat of the petition in this
case that the petitioner subscribed the Sanay po Atty. ay maawa kayo sa akin na
verification and swore to before him, as nagdudusa nang walang kasalanan. Alang
notary public, on 19 April 1994, when in alang po sa kaawa awa kong familiya,
truth and in fact the petitioner did not. kailangan ang aking kalinga. Ang tulong
ninyo ang siyang daan upang ako ay
In his Explanation of 23 December 1994
makaalis sa pagpapahirap nang mga taong
which was received by this Court on 25
walang puso at kaluluwa, walang awa sa
January 1995, Atty. Icasiano M. dela Rea
kapwa, at sa sambayanang Pilipino.
admitted having executed the jurat without
the presence of petitioner Gamido. He Then he apologizes to the Court and
alleges: assures it that henceforth he would be more
careful and circumspect:
Firstly, I must honestly admit that I
notarized it not in his presence. I did it in That I am praying for an apology to the Hon.
the honest belief that since it is jurat and Supreme Court if what I did was wrong and
not an acknowledgement, it would be the Hon. Supreme Court is assured that
alrights [sic] to do so considering that prior perhaps what transpired was a wrong
to April 19, 1994 and thereafter, I know Mr. judgment or honest mistake. That the Hon.
Gamido since I have been in and out of New Chairman and its Hon. Members are assured
Bilibid Prisons, not only because my office is that when I signed the petition not in
here only across the Municipal Building of Gamido's presence it is never intended to
Muntinlupa, Metro Manila but because I do a wrong, to commit illegal or criminal
handled a number of cases involving acts but merely in the honest and sincere
prisoners and guards of NBP as well as belief that it is valid and legal. The Hon.
some of its personnels [sic]. That in fact, I Supreme Court is assured that it is never
attempted to have the document personally intended for malice or for money.
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This Hon. Chairman and its Hon. Members oath; to declare on oath the truth of a
are further assured that from hereon, I am pleading, etc. (Id., 1298). Accordingly, in a
more careful and circumspect in the jurat, the affiant must sign the document in
exercise of this noble and grand profession the presence of and take his oath before a
and that no amount or consideration will notary public or any other person
sway or change this conviction. This is my authorized to administer oaths.
life. This is the life of my family.
As to acknowledgment, Section 1 of Public
Atty. dela Rea's explanation is Act No. 2103 provides:
unsatisfactory; however, his spontaneous
voluntary admission may be considered in (a) The acknowledgement shall be made
mitigation of his liability. before a notary public or an officer duly
authorized by law of the country to take
As a notary public for a long time, as acknowledgments of instruments or
evidenced by the fact that his questioned documents in the place where the act is
jurat is indicated to have been entered in done. The notary public or the officer taking
Book 45 of his notarial register, he should the acknowledgment shall certify that the
know the similarities and differences person acknowledging the instrument or
between a jurat and an acknowledgement. document is known to him and that he is
the same person who executed it, and
A jurat which is, normally in this form: acknowledged that the same is his free act
and deed. The certificate shall be made
Subscribed and sworn to before me in under his official seal, if he is by law
_______________, this ____ day of required to keep a seal, and if not, his
____________, affiant having exhibited to me certificate shall so state. (See Lorenzo M.
his Community (before, Residence) Tax Taada and Francisco A. Rodrigo, Modern
Certificate No. ____________ issued at Philippine Legal Forms, vol. II, 1964 Fifth
______________ on ____________. ed., 735).

"is that part of an affidavit in which the It is obvious that the party acknowledging
officer certifies that the instrument was must likewise appear before the notary
sworn to before him (Theobald vs. Chicago public or any other person authorized to
Ry. Co., 75 Ill. App. 208). It is not a part of a take acknowledgments of instruments or
pleading but merely evidences the fact that documents.
the affidavit was properly made (Young vs.
Wooden, 265 SW 24, 204 Ky. 694)." The claim or belief of Atty. dela Rea that the
(LORENZO M. TAADA and FRANCISCO A. presence of petitioner Gamido was not
RODRIGO, Modern Legal Forms, vol. I, sixth necessary for the jurat because it is not an
ed., 1985 printing, 31). The jurat in the acknowledgment is patently baseless. If this
petition in the case also begins with the had been his belief since he was first
words "subscribed and sworn to me." commissioned as a notary public, then he
has been making a mockery of the legal
To subscribe literally means to write solemnity of an oath in a jurat. Notaries
underneath, as one's name; to sign at the public and others authorized by law to
end of a document (Black's Law Dictionary, administer oaths or to take
Fifth ed., 1279). To swear means to put on
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acknowledgments should not take for Administratively, as a lawyer commissioned
granted the solemn duties appertaining to as a notary public, Atty. Icasiano M. dela
their offices. Such duties are dictated by Rea committed grave misconduct when he
public policy and are impressed with public agreed to prepare the jurat in the petition in
interest. this case in the absence of petitioner
Gamido, thereby making it appear that the
His prior acquaintance and friendship with latter personally signed the certification of
petitioner Gamido provides no excuse for the petition and took his oath before him
non-compliance with his duty. If Atty. dela when in truth and in fact the said petitioner
Rea were faithful to his duty as a notary did not.
public and if he wanted to accommodate a
friend who was inside a prison, he could WHEREFORE, for grave misconduct, ATTY.
have gone to the latter's cell since he ICASIANO I. DELA REA is hereby FINED in
openly admitted that he has "been in and the sum of FIVE THOUSAND PESOS
out of New Bilibid Prisons, not only because (P5,000.00), without prejudice to criminal
[his] office is here only across the Municipal prosecution as may be warranted under the
Building of Muntinlupa, Metro Manila but circumstances. He is WARNED that the
because [he] handled a number of cases commission of the same or similar acts in
involving prisoners and guards of NBP as the future shall be dealt with more severely.
well as some of its personnels [sic]."
SO ORDERED.

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