2 | Notary Public

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  EN BANC   A.C. No. 8384 : April 11, 2013EFIGENIA M. TENOSO   Complainant  , v . ATTY. ANSELMO S. ECHANEZ,    Respondent  . LEONEN,    J. : Etigenia M. Tenoso (complainant) tiled a complaint against Atty. Anselmo S. Echanez (respondent) alleging thatrespondent was engaged in practice as a notary public in Cordon, lsabela, without haing been properly commissioned bythe !egional Trial Court (!TC) o Santiago City, #sabela. This is the !TC e$ercising %urisdiction oer the Municipality o  Cordon.This alleged act iolates !ule ### o the &'' !ules on otarial *ractice (A.M. o. '&++-+SC). To support her allegations, complainant attached the ollowing documents to her pleadings/chanroblesirtualawlibrarya. Two (&) documents signed and issued by !TC Santiago City E$ecutie 0udge E ren M. Cacatian bearing the names o  commissioned notaries public within the territorial %urisdiction o the !TC o Santiago City or the years &''1 to &''2 and&''2 to &''. - !espondent3s name does not appear on either list4cralawlibrary b. Copies o ten (-') documents that appear to hae been notarized by respondent in the years &''1, &''2, and &''4 andc. A copy o a certi ication issued by 0udge Cacatian stating that a %oint+a idait notarized by respondent in &'' couldnot be 5authenticated as to respondent3s seal and signature as 6 otarial Commission was issued upon him at the time o  the document3s notarization.5 & chanroblesirtualawlibrary#n his two+page Answer, respondent denied the allegations saying, 5# hae neer been notarizing any document or  pleadings5   and added that he has 5neer committed any malpractice, nor deceit nor hae iolated thelawyers (sic)oath5.   7e dismissed such allegations as being 5preposterous, ull o lies, politically motiated and $ $ $ meant to harassor intimidate him5. 8 chanroblesirtualawlibraryAlso, he surmised that the documents anne$ed to the A idait+Complaint were 5tampered and adulterated,5 or that5somebody might hae orged his signature.5 1  7e ailed to attend the mandatory con erence and li9ewise ailed to ile his*osition *aper.#n his !eport and !ecommendation dated &: September &'', #nestigating Commissioner Atty. Salador ;. 7ababagrecommended that respondent be suspended rom the practice o law or si$ (1) months and dis<uali ied rom beingcommissioned as a notary public or two (&) years or iolating !ules -.'- and -'.'- o the Code o *ro essional!esponsibility. 2 chanroblesirtualawlibrary#n a !esolution dated -- =ecember &'', the #;* ;oard o >oernors a irmed the indings o the #nestigatingCommissioner but increased the penalty o suspension rom si$ (1) months to one (-) year. !espondent did not ile aMotion or !econsideration or any other subse<uent pleading.6n -& August &'':, the #;* ;oard o >oernors transmitted its !esolution to the Supreme Court or its action ollowing!ule -:+; o the !ules o Court.  chanroblesirtualawlibraryThe Court modi ies the #;* ;oard o >oernors3 !esolution.Complainant presented eidence supporting her allegation that respondent had notarized arious documents in Cordon,#sabela rom &''1 to &'' and that respondent3s name does not appear on the list o notaries public commissioned by the!TC o Santiago City, #sabela or the years &''1 to &''2 and &''2 to &''.!espondent ailed to present eidence to rebut complainant3s allegations. *er Section -, !ule -- o the !ules o  Court, :  the burden o proo is ested upon the party who alleges the truth o his claim or de ense or any act in issue. Thus,in ?eae =iision, 6 ice o Administratie Serices, 6 ice o the Court Administrator . >utierrez, -'  where a partyresorts to bare denials and allegations and ails to submit eidence in support o his de ense, the determination that hecommitted the iolation is sustained. !espondent merely posited that the notarized documents presented by complainantwere 5tampered and adulterated5 or were results o orgery, but he ailed to present any proo . -- !espondent also resortedto a sweeping and unsupported statement that he neer notarized any document. Accordingly, the reasonable conclusion isthat respondent repeatedly notarized documents without the re<uisite notarial commission.Time and again, this Court emphasizes that the practice o law is imbued with public interest and that 5a lawyer owessubstantial duties not only to his client, but also to his brethren in the pro ession, to the courts, and to the nation, and ta9es part in one o the most important unctions o the State + the administration o %ustice + as an o icer o thecourt.5 -&  Accordingly, 35lawyers are bound to maintain not only a high standard o legal pro iciency, but also o morality,honesty, integrity and air dealing.5 - chanroblesirtualawlibrarySimilarly, the duties o notaries public are dictated by public policy and impressed with public interest. -  5otarization isnot a routinary, meaningless act, or notarization conerts a priate document to a public instrument, ma9ing it admissiblein eidence without the necessity o preliminary proo o its authenticity and due e$ecution.5 -8 chanroblesirtualawlibrary#n misrepresenting himsel as a notary public, respondent e$posed party+litigants, courts, other lawyers and the general public to the perils o ordinary documents posing as public instruments. As noted by the #nestigating Commissioner,respondent committed acts o deceit and alsehood in open iolation o the e$plicit pronouncements o the Code o  *ro essional !esponsibility. Eidently, respondent3s conduct alls miserably short o the high standards o morality,honesty, integrity and air dealing re<uired rom lawyers. #t is proper that he be sanctioned.@7E!E6!E, @e ind Atty. Anselmo S. Echanez guilty o engaging in notarial practice without a notarial commission,and accordingly, @e SBS*E= him rom the practice o law or two (&) years and =#SBA?#D him rom beingcommissioned as a notary public or two (&) years. 7e is warned that a repetition o the same or similar act in the utureshall merit a more seere sanction. SO O!EE! .
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