Almirante: Competent evidence of identity

Labor Case Digest

PETITIONER Rufina S. Jorge (Rufina) filed against respondents a Third Party Claim in connection with a Writ of Execution and Alias Writ of Execution issued by the Labor Arbiter (LA). The LA ordered the dismissal of the Third Party Claim and directed the sheriff to proceed with the auction of the subject property.

To set aside the order, Rufina filed before the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) a petition for Extraordinary Remedies. The petition was denied for lack of merit.

Rufina elevated the case to the Court of Appeals (CA) via a petition for certiorari. The petition was dismissed due to a defective jurat of the Verification and Certification of Non-Forum Shopping there being no competent proof of the affiant’s identity as required under 09-8-13 Supreme Court Resolution.

Is the dismissal justified?

Ruling: No.

A notary public may be excused from requiring the presentation of competent evidence of identity if the signatory before him is personally known to him. In Jandoquile v. Atty. Revilla Jr., 708 Phil. 337 (2013), it was held:

If the notary public knows the affiants personally, he need not require them to show their valid identification cards. This rule is supported by the definition of a “jurat” under section 6, rule II of the 2004 Rules on Notarial Practice. A “jurat” refers to an act in which an individual on a single occasion: (a) appears in person before the notary public and presents an instrument or document; (b) is personally known to the notary public or identified by the notary public through competent evidence of identity; (c) signs the instrument or document in the presence of the notary; and (d) takes an oath or affirmation before the notary public as to such instrument or document.

In legal hermeneutics, “or” is a disjunctive term that expresses an alternative or gives a choice of one among two or more things. The word signifies disassociation and independence of one thing from another thing in an enumeration. “The phrase ‘personally known’ contemplates the notary public’s personal knowledge of the signatory’s personal circumstances independent and irrespective of any representations made by the signatory immediately before and/or during the time of the notarization. It entails awareness, understanding, or knowledge of the signatory’s identity and circumstances gained through firsthand observation or experience which therefore serve as guarantee of the signatory’s identity and thus eliminate the need for the verification process of documentary identification.” The jurat or affirmation or oath, or acknowledgment must contain a statement that the affiant is personally known to the notary public; it cannot be assumed.

Here, the notarial certificate of the Verification and Certification Against Forum Shopping that was attached to Rufina’s petition for certiorari filed before the CA stated that she is personally known to the notary public. The fact that it contained no details of her competent evidence of identity is inconsequential simply because its presentation may be excused or dispensed with. If it is not required for the affiant to show competent evidence of identity in case he/she is personally known to the notary public, with more reason that it is unnecessary to state the details of such competent evidence of identity in the notarial certificate.

(Rufina S. Jorge vs. Alberto C. Marcelo, et al., G.R. No. 232989, March 18, 2019).


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