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Canon ??? Maala, James Christian S.

1BB

PATROCINIO V. AGBULOS, Complainant,


vs.
ATTY. ROSELLER A. VIRAY, Respondent.
A.C. No. 7350 February 18, 2013

DOCTRINE OF THE CASE


The responsibility to faithfully observe and respect the legal solemnity of the oath in an
acknowledgment or jurat is more pronounced when the notary public is a lawyer because of his
solemn oath under the Code of Professional Responsibility to obey the laws and to do no
falsehood or consent to the doing of any.

FACTS:
The case stemmed from a Complaint filed before the Office of the Bar Confidant (OBC)
by Agbulos against Viray, for allegedly notarizing a document denominated as Affidavit of Non-
Tenancy in violation of the Notarial Law. In the said complaint, Agbulos claimed that the
documents Viray notarized are not hers and in notarizing such documents. Agbulos added that
she did not personally appear before Viray for the notarization of the document. She, likewise,
states that Viray’s client, Rolando Dollente (Dollente), benefited from the said
falsified affidavit as it contributed to the illegal transfer of a property registered in her name to
that of Dollente.
In his comment, Viray admitted having prepared and notarized the documents in
question at the request of Dollente, who assured him that Agbulos personally signed the said
documents. As it turned out, Agbulos was unware of such signature. Viray then proceeded to
apologize to Agbulos claiming that he notarized the documents in good faith.
After the mandatory conference and hearing, the IBP board of Governors decided to
impose a suspension on Viray. Viray appealed but the decision was affirmed with modifications.

ISSUE:
Whether or not there is a violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility.

HELD:
Yes. Respondent’s failure to perform his duty as a notary public resulted not only
damage to those directly affected by the notarized document but also in undermining the
integrity of a notary public and in degrading the function of notarization. He should, thus, be
held liable for such negligence not only as a notary public but also as a lawyer. The
responsibility to faithfully observe and respect the legal solemnity of the oath in an
acknowledgment or jurat is more pronounced when the notary public is a lawyer because of his
solemn oath under the Code of Professional Responsibility to obey the laws and to do no
falsehood or consent to the doing of any. Lawyers commissioned as notary public are mandated
to discharge with fidelity the duties of their offices, such duties being dictated by public policy
and impressed with public interest.