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Friday, August 23, 2019

Lawyer sued for ‘falsification’ of documents

A LAWYER is facing a criminal case in court for notarizing forged public documents that were used to sell a property in Barangay Calamba, Cebu City in 2014.

Prosecutor Noel Cellona found evidence to charge lawyer Francisco Villarojo Jr. with falsification under Article 172 in relation to Article 171 (4) of the Revised Penal Code.

Article 172 punishes individuals who commits falsification of any public or official document or letter of exchange or any other kind of commercial document.

Article 171 (4) punishes any public officer, employee or notary who, taking advantage of his or her official position, will make untruthful statements in a narration of facts.

Villarojo notarized the deed of absolute sale despite the fact that the signatories of the documents were all dead, the prosecutor said. The court set the bail at P24, 000.

The case stemmed from the complaint filed by Bethoven Cania, who accused Villarojo and certain Charmel Jayme Kintanar of falsification of public documents.

In her complaint, Cania said that their parents owned Lot 1763, which was later subdivided into five lots.

But Cania said that Kintanar caused the transfer of the lots under her name by executing a deed of absolute sale and notarized the document using the signatures of her 12 dead family members.

Cancel

Cania said her lawyer sent a demand letter to Kintanar to cancel the new titles. Kintanar subsequently sold the lots to a company by using a new transfer certificate of title.

The alleged forged deed of absolute sale was notarized by Villarojo.

Replying to the charges, Villarojo said that Kinatanar, along with other people, went to his office and affixed their signatures on the deed of absolute sale in his presence.

Villarojo said Cania even complained to him that the signatures on the deed of absolute sale were forged since those who signed it were already dead.

He said that he did not doubt Kintanar since the latter is the daughter of his former co-worker in the bank.

In her counter-affidavit, Kintanar said she expected the complaint to be filed against her after she refused to give Cania the portion of the proceeds amounting to P3.5 million.

She also said that it was a real estate broker who processed the deed of absolute sale.

Kintanar said she did not appear in Villarojo’s office during the supposed notarization of the document since the broker processed all the documents for her.

She said that she did not affix her signature on the lawyer’s notarial book.

In the resolution, Prosecutor Cellona said that probable cause exists after Kintanar denied that she appeared before Villarojo’s office to affix her signature on the lawyer’s notarial register.

“To the mind of the undersigned, there is sufficient evidence to prove the complaint filed against him,” he said. (GMD)
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