Cam Sur lawyer disbarred for notarizing SPA of dead persons

NAGA CITY—The Supreme Court disbarred a lawyer from Pili, Camarines Sur for notarizing a special power of attorney (SPA) for deceased individuals.

Atty. Rex A. Resuena was found to be guilty of malpractice as a notary public, of violating the lawyer’s oath as well as Rule 1.01, Canon 1 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.

He is further perpetually disqualified from being commissioned as a notary public.

Earlier, Virginia Perez, Marcella Perez, Amador Perez, Gloria Perez, Gracia Perez and Valentino Perez filed a complaint for ejectment/forcible entry against Gregory Fabay before the Municipal Trial Court of Pili, Camarines Sur with respondent Atty. Resuena as their counsel.

On the same date, October 15, 2003, Atty. Resuena notarized a special power of attorney (SPA) with plaintiffs as grantors, in favor of Apolo D. Perez.

However, it appeared that it was only Remedios Perez who actually signed the SP A in behalf of Amador Perez, Valentino Perez, Gloria Perez and Gracia Perez.

Said SPA was recorded in Atty. Resuena's notarial book as Doc. No. 126, Page 26, Book 1, Series of 2003.

The ejectment case was later on decided in favor of the client of Atty. Resuena, however, on appeal, the Regional Trial Court of Pili, Camarines Sur, Branch 32, ordered the case to be remanded to the court a quo to try the case on the merits.

In its Decision4 dated August 4, 2005, the trial court noted that both Amador Perez and Valentino Perez have already died on September 7, 1988 and April 26, 1976, respectively.

Complainant Fabay alleged that Atty. Resuena violated the provisions of the Notarial Law by notarizing a special power of attorney notwithstanding the fact that two of the principals therein, Amador Perez and Valentino Perez were already dead long before the execution of the SPA.

Complainant added that Atty. Resuena likewise notarized a complaint for ejectment in 2003 where Apolo Perez was made to appear as attomey-in-fact of Amador Perez and Valentino Perez when again the latter could not have possibly authorized him as they were already dead.

The high tribunal ruled: "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."

Resuena was admitted to the Philippine Bar on May 11, 1999.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM


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