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Notaries public should refrain from affixing their signature and notarial seal on a

document unless the persons who signed it are the same individuals who executed and

personally appeared before the notaries public to attest to the truth of what are stated

therein, for under Section 1 of Public Act No. 2103 or the Notarial Law, an instrument

or document shall be considered authentic if the acknowledgment is made in

accord-ance with its requirements.

Without the appearance of the person who actually executed the document in

question, notaries public would be unable to verify the genuineness of the signature of

the acknowledging party and to ascertain that the document is the party’s free act or


Lawyers commissioned as notaries public are mandated to discharge with fidelity the

duties of their offices, such duties being dictated by public policy and impressed with

public interest.



It is the duty of a notary public to require the personal appearance of the person

executing a document to enable him to verify the genuineness of the latter’s signature.
A Community Tax Certificate (CTC) is not included in the list of competent evidence of

identity that notaries public should use in ascertaining the identity of persons

appearing before them.

Certifying under oath an irregular Deed of Absolute Sale without ascertaining the

identities of the persons executing the same constitutes gross negligence in the

performance of duty as a notary public.



Community Tax Certificate; Community Tax Certificates (CTCs) no longer qualifies as

competent evidence of the parties’ identity as defined under Rule II, Section 12 of the

2004 Rules on Notarial Practice. (see also Baysac vs. Aceron-Papa)

The irregularity in the notarization was not fatal to the validity of the Contract of Lease

since the absence of such formality would not necessarily invalidate the lease, but

would merely render the written contract a private instrument rather than a public

one. In addition, parties who appear before a notary public to have their documents

notarized should not be expected to follow up on the submission of the notarial

reports. They should not be made to suffer the consequences of the negligence of the

notary public in following the procedures prescribed by the Notarial Law.


Aside from being a violation of Sec. 11 of the 2004 Rules on Notarial Practice, it also

partakes of malpractice of law and falsification. Notarizing documents with an expired

commission is a violation of the lawyer’s oath to obey the laws, more specifically, the

2004 Rules on Notarial Practice.

A notarial commission is a privilege granted only to those who are qualified to perform

duties imbued with public interest.

On the contrary, we feel that he should be reminded that a notarial commission should

not be treated as a money-making venture. It is a privilege granted only to those who

are qualified to perform duties imbued with public interest. As we have declared on

several occasions, notarization is not an empty, meaningless, routinary act. It is

invested with substantive public interest, such that only those who are qualified or

authorized may act as notaries public.

A person who is commissioned as a notary public takes full responsibility for all the

entries in his notarial register. Respondent cannot take refuge claiming that it was his

wife’s act and that he did not authorize his wife to notarize documents. He is personally

accountable for the activities in his office as well as the acts of his personnel including

his wife, who acts as his secretary.


A jurat is a distinct creature from an acknowledgment—an acknowledgment is the act

of one who has executed a deed in going before some competent officer or court and

declaring it to be his act or deed; while a jurat is that part of an affidavit where the

officer certifies that the same was sworn before him.

As far back as 1980 in Borre v. Moya, 100 SCRA 314, the Court explicitly declared that

municipal court judges may notarize only documents connected with the exercise of

their official duties.

Supreme Court Circular No. I-90 permits notaries public ex officio to perform any act

within the competency of a regular notary public provided that certification be made in

the notarized documents attesting to the lack of any lawyer or notary public in such

municipality or circuit.

If the notary public does not have the capacity to notarize a document, but does so

anyway, then the document should be treated as unnotarized.

From a civil law perspective, the absence of notarization of a deed of sale would not

necessarily invalidate the transaction evidenced therein.

The presumption of regularity attaches only to duly notarized documents, as

distinguished from private documents.

Where the deed of sale is a private document, not only the due execution of the

document must be proven but also its authenticity.



Municipal trial court and municipal circuit trial court judges may act as notaries public;

They may notarize documents, contracts, and other conveyances only in the exercise of

their official functions and duties. (See also Tigno vs. Aquino)

Judges of municipal trial courts may act as notaries public ex officio only if lawyers or

notaries public are lacking in their courts’ territorial jurisdiction. They must certify as to

the lack of lawyers or notaries public when notarizing documents ex officio.(See also

Tigno vs. Aquino)

Affidavits of cohabitation are documents not connected with the judge’s official

function and duty to solemnize marriages. Notarizing affidavits of cohabitation is

inconsistent with the duty to examine the parties’ requirements for marriage.

Judges cannot notarize the affidavits of cohabitation of the parties whose marriage

they will solemnize.



If the notary public knows the affiants personally, he need not require them to show

their valid identification cards.


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.



Notarization converts a private document to a public document, making it admissible in

evidence without further proof of its authenticity.



A notary public must observe the highest degree of care in complying with the basic

requirements in the performance of his duties in order to preserve the confidence of

the public in the integrity of the notarial system.

A jurat is, among others, an attestation that the person who presented the instrument

or document to be notarized is personally known to the notary public or identified by

the notary public through competent evidence of identity as defined by the Notarial


Considering the evidentiary value given to the notarized documents, the failure of the

notary public to record the document in his notarial register is tantamount to falsely

making it appear that the document was notarized when, in fact, it was not.
The requirement therefor, as stated under Section 2(h), Rule VI of the Notarial Rules,

applies only to instruments acknowledged before the notary public….Documents like

the Joint Affidavit which contain a jurat and not an acknowledgment are not required

to be forwarded to the Clerk of Court.