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THE LAW FIRM 1 Rockwell Drive, Makati City 9000 Philippines

(632) 8673142

January 26, 2012 1 Bagumbayan, Quezon city 9200 , Philippines Dear Heirs of Lope Caalim RE: Extra Judicial Settlements of the Estate of Lope Caalim Good day! We have received the affidavits and copies of the two Extra-judicial Settlements regarding the Estate of Lope Caalim. Based on the documents you furnished and the interview that we have conducted with the heirs, the facts are clear that Two Extra-judicial Deeds of Settlement were prepared. The first deed was for a consideration of P250,000 and appears to have been executed and signed by Lope's surviving spouse, CaridadTabarrejos, and her children (complainant, Virginia Caalim-Inong and MariviniaCaalim) in favor of spouses Madki and Shirley Mipanga. The second deed was for a consideration of P1,000,000 and appears to have been executed by and for the benefit of the same parties as in the first deed. The two deeds have identical registration numbers, page numbers, and book numbers in the notarial portion. Furthermore, there are allegations that the deeds are spurious becausetheheirs signatures therein were falsified. In this regard, the records of the confinement of Marivina from the Cagayan Valley Medical Center during the time of the signing is good proof that falsification indeed occurred. In my opinion, the preparation of two Extra-judicial Deeds of Settlement by the said Attorney, shows utter disregard for Rules of Notarial Practice. Rule IV Sec.4. Refusal to Notarize. A notary public shall not perform any notarial act described in these Rules for any person requesting such an act even if he tenders the appropriate fee specified by these Rules if: (a) the notary knows or has good reason to believe that the notarial act or transaction is unlawful or immoral;1

Rule VI Sec.2. Entries in the Notarial Register (e) The notary public shall give to each instrument or document executed, sworn to, or acknowledged before him a number corresponding to the one in his register, and shall also state on the instrument or document the page/s of his register on which the same is recorded. No blank line shall be left between entries.2 Caalim-Veroznillavs Pascua3 exhibited that an administrative case may be pursued against the Attorney who created two deeds of Extra-Judicial Settlement. Noting the similarities with the aforementioned case and the injury that has been caused to the heirs for these spurious documents, the available course of action may be instituted in administrative proceedings for disbarment and revocation of the notarial license. Section 27, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court, which provides:
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RULES OF NOTARIAL PRACTICE, Rule IV, sec. 4 RULES OF NOTARIAL PRACTICE, Rule VI, sec. 2 3 Caalim-Veronzilla v Pascua, A.C. 6655, October 11, 2011

THE LAW FIRM 1 Rockwell Drive, Makati City 9000 Philippines

(632) 8673142

SEC. 27. Disbarment or suspension of Attorneys by Supreme Court, grounds therefor. Any member of the bar may be disbarred or suspended from his office as attorney by the Supreme Court for any deceit, malpractice, or other gross misconduct in such office, grossly immoral conduct, or by reason of his conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude, or for any violation of the oath which he is required to take before admission to practice, or for a wilful disobedience appearing as an attorney for a party to a case without authority so to do. x xx.4 Rule 139-B of the Rules of Court of Philippines states that "proceedings for disbarment, suspension or discipline of attorneys may be taken by the Supreme Court motuproprio, or by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) upon the verified complaint of any person. The complaint shall state clearly and concisely the facts complained of and shall be supported by affidavits of persons having personal knowledge of the facts therein alleged and/or by such documents as may substantiate said facts."5 Six (6) copies of the verified complaints must be filed with the Secretary of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) or anyone of its chapters who can transmit the documents to the IBP Board of Governors for assignment to an investigator. Regarding on how to settle the estate, Rules of Court on Special Proceedings shall have the provisions to provide such. Sec 1 of Rule 73 discusses how the court acquires jurisdiction over the estate. It states that: "If the decedent is an inhabitant of the Philippines at the time of his death, whether a citizen or an alien, his will shall be proved, or letters of administration granted, and his estate settled, in the Regional Trial Court in the province in which he resides at the time of his death, and if he is an inhabitant of a foreign country, the Regional Trial Court of any province in which he had estate. The court first taking cognizance of the settlement of the estate of a decedent, shall exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion of all other courts. The jurisdiction assumed by a court, so far as it depends on the place of residence of the decedent, or of the location of his estate, shall not be contested in a suit or proceeding, except in an appeal from that court, in the original case, or when the want of jurisdiction appears on the record."6 Section 3 of the same rule also provides the process of the settlement. As such, it states that: "In the exercise of probate jurisdiction, Regional Trial Court may issue warrants and process necessary to compel the attendance of witnesses or to carry into effect their orders and judgments, and all other powers granted them by law. If a person does not perform an order or judgment rendered by a court in the exercise of its probate jurisdiction, it may issue a warrant for the apprehension and imprisonment of such person until he performs such order or judgment, or is released." 7 The lawyer, if proven guilty, shall be sanctioned according to the IBP Discipline Guidelines for Imposing Lawyer Sanctions, which state, 4.6 Lack of Candor Absent aggravating or mitigating circumstances, upon application of the factors set out in Standard 3.0, the following sanctions are generally appropriate in cases where the lawyer engages in fraud, deceit, misrepresentation directed toward a client: 4.61 Disbarment is generally appropriate when a lawyer knowingly deceives a client with the intent to benefit the lawyer or another, and causes serious injury or potentially serious injury to a client. 4.62 Suspension is generally appropriate when a lawyer knowingly deceives a client, and causes injury or potential injury to the client. 4.63 Reprimand is generally appropriate when a lawyer negligently fails to provide a client with accurate or complete information, and causes injury or potential injury to the client. 4.64 Admonition is generally appropriate when a lawyer engages in an isolated instance of negligence in failing
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RULES OF COURT, Rule 128, sec. 27 RULES OF COURT, Rule 139-B 6 RULES OF COURT, Rule 73, sec. 1 7 Id., sec. 3

THE LAW FIRM 1 Rockwell Drive, Makati City 9000 Philippines

(632) 8673142

to provide a client with accurate or complete information, and causes little or no actual or potential injury to the client. Furthermore, on the issue of the settlement of the estate, maybe executed in another Extra- Judicial Settlement by the heirs of the Estate of Lope Caalim with due consideration for the most equitable between the heirs to facilitate the speedy conclusion. A word of reservation: this legal opinion is based entirely on the facts that you have provided, as well as the pertinent laws and relevant jurisprudence in connection with the same. I, however, cannot guarantee that the said Attorney will not put up his own defenses and subject you to the inconveniences of litigation. Nevertheless, I am confident that the evidence will preponderate in your favor and you will win the case, whether or not there will be a full-blown hearing regarding the matter. I genuinely desire that this issue be resolved in a timely manner and with the least inconvenience. Please let me know if I can be of further service to you.

Sincerely, Atty. Richelle Beltran Research and printing Atty. Lian Cortez Research and Edit Atty. Cristina de la Paz Research and writing Atty. Luisa Elago Writing and compilation Atty. Georgina Fu Research and compilation Atty. Noberto Geraldez Research and Edit Atty. Karl Libongco Research and Citation Atty. Gaston Perez de tagle Research and Edit Atty. RazielleRaneses Research and Writing Atty. Carlo Sanchez Research and Printing Atty. Jericho Tiu Research and Edit