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Rewording the Jurat and the Acknowledgment June 8, 2007

Posted by Janjan in All, Legally Opinionated and Jurisprudent.
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It seems like the Supreme Court is in another case-dismissing spree as I have heard of cases being dropped because of something a lot would consider as a trivial technicality, one of them in our very own law firm. The reason?

Failure to comply with the 2004 Rules of Notarial Practice, specifically Rule IV, Section 2(b), which says that a person shall not perform a notarial act if the person involved as signatory to the instrument or document is either (1) not in the notary’s personal presence at the time of notarization; AND (2) is not otherwise known to the notary public or otherwise identified by the notary public through competent evidence of identity, as defined by the Rules.

Rule II, Section 12 of the same Rules defines competent evidence of identity as, “the identification of an individual based on (a) at least one current identification document issued by an official agency bearing the photograph and signature of the individual; or (b) the oath or affirmation of one credible witness not privy to the instrument, document or transaction who is personally known to the notary public and who personally knows the individual, or of two credible witnesses neither of whom is privy to the instrument, document or transaction who each personally knows the individual and shows to the notary public documentary identification.”

For paragraph (a), the current identification document refers to an I.D. issued by government agencies, such as the Driver’s License, the SSS I.D., the Postal I.D., the passport, and any other official identification card that bears the picture and signature of the person. NOTE: the Community Tax Certificate (CTC’s) does NOT come within the definition of a competent evidence of identity.

In other words, we lawyers and notaries public now have to change the way our jurats and acknowledgments are worded, with a specific mention that we either have personal knowledge of the person attesting before our presence, or that such affiant is identified through competent evidence of identity, with a specific mention as to what I.D. was used, when it was issued, etc.

For example, an Acknowledgment of an attestator who is personally known to the Notary Public:

BEFORE ME, a Notary Public, in Cebu City, this June 8, 2007, personally appeared the Magnificent Atty. Perez, personally known to me to be the same person who executed the foregoing Memorandum of Support which he acknowledged before me as his free and voluntary act and deed and that of Magnificent Bastards Inc., whom he represents as its Attorney-in-fact with full authority to sign in that capacity.

June 8, 2007. Cebu City.

(Notice that since the attestator is personally known to the notary public, his “competent evidence of identity” is no longer needed?)

Another example is a jurat where an affiant is identified by two credible witnesses:

SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN to before me in Cebu City on June 8, 2007 by the Magnificent Atty. Perez, who has satisfactorily proven to me his identity through Judy Ann Santos and Ryan Agoncillo, who is personally known to me and who personally knows the principal, that he is the same person who executed and personally signed the foregoing affidavit before me and acknowledged that he executed the same.

Note that for this to be valid, (1) the witnesses, Judy Ann Santos and Ryan Agoncillo, must be personally known by the Notary Public; (2) the affiant, the Magnificent Atty. Perez, must be known by the witnesses; (3) the witnesses are not privy to the instrument, document or transaction; and (4) the witnesses must make an oath or affirmation. This means that the fourth requirement will need ANOTHER oath and affirmation to cover Judy Ann Santos and Ryan Agoncillo, WHO must now present their documentary identification, which will state:

WE, JUDY ANN SANTOS and RYAN AGONCILLO, both of legal age, Filipino citizens, single, and residents of 13 Balete Drive, Metro Manila, and 21 Jump St., Ormoc City, respectively, affirm under the penalty of law that:

1) The Magnificent Atty. Perez, the principal making the acknowledgment is the same person named in the Memorandum of Support;

2) The Magnificent Atty. Perez is personally known by the undersigned;

3) The Magnificent Atty. Perez does not possess a current identification document issued by an official agency as required by Sec. 12(a), Rule II of the 2004 Rules on Notarial Practice;

4) There is reasonable belief of the undersigned witnesses that due to the Magnificent Atty. Perez’s circumstances, namely that he is in hiding for impregnating a very jealous gun owner’s wife, it would be very difficult or impossible for him to obtain the required official identification document;

5) The undersigned witnesses are not privy to the Memorandum of Support presented and signed;

6) The undersigned have presented their respective valid identification documents issued by an official agency, to wit:

JUDY ANN SANTOS, with Senior’s Citizen I.D. No. 88997, valid until ______.

RYAN AGONCILLO, with Drivers License No. 25448, valid until _______.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, we have hereunto affixed our signatures on June 8, 2007 in Cebu City, Philippines.

(sgd) Judy Ann Santos (sgd) Ryan Agoncillo

SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN to before me, etc.

There are actually various mutations and permutations of these new notarial acts. I’m using the book authored by Justice Regalado E. Maambong called “Primer on the Rules of Notarial Practice” which you can buy at National Bookstore.

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