Fake notaries

Lawyer group wants to end illegal notarizations

THE INTEGRATED Bar of the Philippines – Davao City Chapter (IBP-Davao) spearheaded yesterday the first inter-agency meeting on the drive against fake notaries and improper notarization.

“We are shocked by reports of illegal notarizations by non-lawyers who counterfeit the notarial seals, stamps and forge the signatures of licensed notaries, as well as the improper notarizations by secretaries or staff of lawyers, sometimes without the lawyers’ consent,” said IBP-Davao president Atty. Rogelio Largo.

Largo also raised the ubiquitous presence of barkers for notarial solicitations in the premises of government offices.

This practice has been prevalent over time that Regional Trial Court (RTC) Executive Judge Emmanuel Carpio has ordered the confiscation of legal documents found to have been illegally notarized or notarized by fake notaries.

Largo feared that if this issue is not addressed immediately, the problem will continue to cause illegal transfers of ownership of properties, give rise to cases in court and affect the integrity or credibility of legally notarized documents.

The inter-agency meeting defined a system of coordination and cooperation among agencies to identify, apprehend, and prosecute fake notaries. It includes preventing illegally notarized documents from causing transfers of ownership of vehicles, lands, and other properties.

Present during the meeting were Atty. Gomer J. Dy, regional director of Land Transportation Office (LTO); RTC Executive Judge Emmanuel T. Carpio, Atty. Mario Francisco Tonelete, regional director of the National Bureau of Investigation; Police Insp. Mervie Samson and Chief Investigator Rex C. Rodriguez of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).

Also present were Virgilio Z. delos Reyes of Registry of Deeds, lawyers Roderick M. Orallo and Alexis Ben O. Barrera of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

With Largo were IBP Davao directors Irvin Sagarino, Mari Kristine Reginio, Cecilia Jover–Angeles, IBP Secretary Eleanor dela Peńa, and Danilo A. Balucos.

The group will meet again to sign a Memorandum of Agreement defining the agencies’ role in the campaign against fake notaries and improper notarization. It will feature both preventive and pro-active components. Preventive measures include requirements to ensure authenticity of the notarized documents and authority or license of the notary public while pro-active engagement includes entrapment, apprehension and prosecution of those involved on fake notarization and illegal practice of law. By Amalia B. Cabusao