Supreme Court Commends Naga City RTC, Executive Judge for Initiative in Monitoring Notarial Violations
June 16, 2023
In an En Banc Resolution, the Supreme Court gave commendation to the Regional Trial Court, Naga City, Camarines Sur (RTC Naga City) and Executive Judge Pablo Cabillan Formaran III for their initiative in creating Task Force Honesto Notario.
The Task Force, created under Office Memorandum No. PCF-2023-001 issued by Executive Judge Formaran, aims to efficiently and effectively supervise and monitor the activities of all duly commissioned notaries public within the administrative jurisdiction of RTC Naga City, pursuant to Sections 1 and 2, Rule XI of the 2004 Rules on Notarial Practice (Rules).
Under the said Office Memorandum, the Task Force is empowered to monitor and immediately report to the Executive Judge any violation of the Rules committed by duly commissioned notaries public in Naga City. The sheriffs of the Office of the Clerk of Court are likewise authorized to inspect the notarial register of a notary public at any time, consistent with Section 4, Rule VI of the Rules.
The Supreme Court also directed the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) to develop a similar program to monitor and implement the Rules in all trial courts nationwide. The OCA was also directed to instruct all Executive Judges to implement the same initiative within their respective administrative jurisdictions.
Under Section 1, Rule IV of the Rules, a notary public is empowered to perform the following notarial acts: acknowledgments; oaths and affirmations; jurats; signature witnessings; copy certifications; and other acts authorized by the Rules.
The Supreme Court has consistently held in a long line of decisions that “the notary public must be mindful of the significance of the notarial seal affixed on documents. The notarial seal converts a document from a private to a public instrument, after which it may be presented as evidence without need for proof of its genuineness and due execution. Thus, notarization should not be treated as an empty, meaningless or routinary act. A notary public exercises duties calling for carefulness and faithfulness.” (A.C. No. 8507, De Miller v. Miranda, November 10, 2015)
According to data from the Office of the Bar Confidant, of the 124 disciplinary actions meted against lawyers in 2022, 20 or 16% involve suspensions from notarial practice.
FULL TEXT OF A.M. No. 23-03-17-RTC dated April 18, 2023 at: https://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/23-03-17-rtc-re-commendation-on-the-initiative-of-regional-trial-court-naga-city-camarines-sur-relative-to-the-creation-of-task-force-honesto-notario-seeking-to-monitor-the-commissioned-notaries-p/(Courtesy of the Supreme Court Public Information Office)