528 Phil. 462
CARPIO MORALES, J.:
Canon 1, Rule 1.01 - A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct,and recommended respondent's suspension from the practice of law for One Month.
[T]here is sufficient proof to discipline the respondent in Adm. Case No. 5907. In the Memorandum of a Joint Venture Agreement, Atty. Rubia stated in the acknowledgment portion thereof that the parties personally appeared before her "on this 9th day of January, 2001." But then this document . . . was entered in respondent's notarial register as Document No. 5707; Page No. 1144; Book No 25; Series of 2002 [Annex "A-1," Petition]. It is further pointed out that respondent's PTR Number as indicated in this document is PTR Number 4574844 that is likewise indicated as being issued on January 3, 2002. On the other hand, the [Counter] Affidavit of Marilyn Carido, which Atty. Rubia notarized . . . was notarized on November 6, 2002 [Annex "B-2" of the Petition]. This [counter] affidavit also indicates respondent's PTR Number as 4574844 issued on January 3, 2002. It must be stressed that this is the same Number indicated in the Memorandum of a Joint Venture Agreement [notarized on January 9, 2001]. But then a Deed of Absolute Sale dated 28 March 2001 between one Leandro Prosia and Jocelyn Canoy-Alson [Annex "D," Petition] that was also notarized by respondent, indicates that her PTR for the year 2001 was PTR No. 4320009 [p. 14, SC Records].By Resolution of July 30, 2004, the IBP Board of Governors (BOG) adopted the finding of the Investigating Commissioner's Report that respondent violated Rule 1.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility for making a false declaration in a public document. It, however, modified the recommended sanction in that, instead of suspension from the practice of law for One Month, it merely WARNED respondent that a repetition of the same or similar act in the future would be dealt with more severely.
As already pointed out, the [January 9, 2001] Memorandum of a Joint Venture Agreement indicates that it was entered as Document No. 5707, Series of 2002 in respondent's notarial register. On the other hand, the [November 6, 2002] Affidavit of Marilyn Carido was entered as Document No. 2791, Series of 2002. Since the [Counter] Affidavit was notarized [o]n 06 November 2002, it is illogical why the document number for the Memorandum of a Joint Venture is greater (higher) than that of the former since the latter was supposed to have been notarized many months earlier, or specifically, on 09 January 2001.
All of the foregoing show that the respondent effectively made an untruthful declaration in a public document when she attested that the Memorandum of a Joint Venture Agreement was acknowledged before her on 09 January 2001 when evidence clearly shows otherwise. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied)
. . . [D]isciplinary proceedings [against lawyers] are sui generis. Neither purely civil nor purely criminal, this proceeding is not - and does not involve - a trial of an action or a suit, but is rather an investigation by the Court into the conduct of its officers. Not being intended to inflict punishment, it is in no sense a criminal prosecution. Accordingly, there is neither a plaintiff nor a prosecutor therein. It may be initiated by the Court motu proprio. Public interest is its primary objective, and the real question for determination is whether or not the attorney is still a fit person to be allowed the privileges as such. Hence, in the exercise of its disciplinary powers, the Court merely calls upon a member of the Bar to account for his actuations as an officer of the Court with the end in view of preserving the purity of the legal profession and the proper and honest administration of justice by purging the profession of members who by their misconduct have proved themselves no longer worthy to be entrusted with the duties and responsibilities pertaining to the office of an attorney. In such posture, there can thus be no occasion to speak of a complainant or a prosecutor. (Emphasis supplied)Complainant's husband's pursuance of the cases was thus in order.
In sum, respondent claimed that the document was forged on January 9, 2001 but she made a "new and/or revised agreement" in 2002 to incorporate additional conditions thereto, retaining, however, its original date - January 9, 2001; that on noticing that the document "mistakenly or erroneously [b]ore the series of 2002 in [her] notarial register and likewise b[ore] her new . . . [PTR] No. and IBP No. for the year 2002," she instructed her secretary to make the necessary corrections, but on account of her workload, she forgot to remind her secretary to comply therewith; and that it was only after Marilyn's Counter-Affidavit of November 6, 2002 was filed before the Prosecutor's Office that she (respondent) was reminded of the erroneous entries, hence, she had her secretary make the corrections on November 8, 2002.
- That way back in the early 2001, specifically in January of the year 2001, Marilyn A. Carido and Yoshimi Nakayama, had me prepared [sic] a document in preparation of the business enterprises to be established by Marilyn A. Carido, wherein Yoshimi Nakayama, will grant the former CAPITAL for the establishment of the proposed enterprises, the main purpose of which is to secure the future of Marilyn A. Carido, their children, and the family of Marilyn A. Carido. A copy of the said agreement is hereto attached as ANNEX "A," with its corresponding submarking;x x x x
- That in fact, on May 10, 2002, Marilyn A. Carido and Yoshimi Nakayama came to my office, for two (2) purposes: First, Yoshimi Nakayama had me prepared a document which would be an ADDENDUM to their original transaction in January 2001, wherein Yoshimi Nakayama gave Marilyn A. Carido additional capital to augment the operation of the "Bamiyan Superstore;" Second, that Marilyn A. Carido and Yoshimi Nakayama wanted me to REVISE and AMEND the original agreement made by them in January, 2001, because Yoshimi Nakayama wanted to add certain conditions to the original agreement, specifically referring to the flow of money unto the coffers of the enterprises of Marilyn A. Carido, and as to the fact of the technical assistance that he is giving Marilyn A. Carido, because, at that time, there were already many problems in the operations of the Bamiyan enterprises. That, for the first purpose, I prepared the ADDENDUM to the original agreement between Marilyn A. Carido and Yoshimi Nakayama. A copy of the said addendum is hereto attached and made another part hereof as ANNEX "C," with its corresponding submarking;
- That for the second purpose referring to the REVISION or AMENDMENT of the original transaction, I told both Marilyn A. Carido and Yoshimi Nakayama, to submit to me all the copies of the original agreement in their possession, and I will just make another instrument which would supplant or replace the old one while incorporating the needed conditions suggested by Yoshimi Nakayama. That I told them that I will be making a new and/or revised agreement, but I will retain the original date of the first transaction made in January, 2001, because anyway, I have not yet submitted the documents which I have notarized for the year 2001, since my notarial commission will expire yet on the last day of December, 2002;
- That, therefore, on the same date, Marilyn A. Carido and Yoshimi Nakayama submitted to me all the copies in their possession of the old agreement, and I proceeded to have another one encoded in my computer by my secretary, Mona Liza Galvez, incorporating the needed additional conditions in accordance with the wishes of my said clients. A copy of the said REVISED agreement is hereto attached as ANNEX "D," with the its corresponding submarkings;
- That in fact, on November 6, 2002, I attached a copy of the revised agreement on the COUNTER-AFFIDAVIT of Marilyn A. Carido, in the case for a violation of the Anti-Dummy law filed against her by an assumed witness, Elsa Mondejar who is also the assumed complainant in this instant investigation; That, however, while I was going over the documents of Marilyn A. Carido, I noticed that the revised agreement referred to above, although retained the original date of the original one as January, 2001, mistakenly or erroneously bear the series of 2002 in my notarial register, and likewise bear my new PROFESSIONAL TAX RECEIPT (PTR) NO. and IBP No. for the year 2002;
- That even before then, I already instructed my secretary to make the necessary corrections in the said revised document because the accountant and administrator of the Bamiyan, Felicisima Abo, had already brought the erroneous entries to my attention when all the legal papers of Marilyn A. Carido were turned over to her profession, as early as June, 2002. That, however, because of my workload, I forgot to remind my secretary about the corrections that she should made therein. However, I already told Marilyn A. Carido and Yoshimi Nakayama, that the corrections are proper because I will just make the necessary initials on the corrected portions;
- That, again because of the fact, that I had to arrange certain matters on the labor aspects of all the Bamiyan enterprises, because at these times, both Marilyn A. Carido and Yoshimi Nakayama, were in Japan, it was only after I filed the counter-affidavit of Marilyn A. Carido, in the said Anti-Dummy case, that I was reminded on the said erroneous entries. Therefore, on November 8, 2002, I had Mona Liza Galvez, my secretary, make the necessary corrections; A copy of the corrected revised agreement is hereto attached as ANNEX "E," with the corresponding submarkings; as well as copies of the memos that I had issued in behalf of my principal, Marilyn A. Carido, for the Bamiyan, are likewise hereto attached as ANNEXES "F" TO "I," respectively;x x x x (Emphasis and underscoring supplied)