Personal appearance before notary public a must
"What are the notarial acts that a Philippine notary public can do? Can a notary public also notarize a document of a person who is not here in the Philippines? My aunt is working as an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) abroad but she wants me to process in the Philippines her application to take her son abroad when she comes home in December. She is planning to send over some documents for me to have them notarized. Her name is the one indicated as the signatory of those documents and she will affix her signature before she sends it to me. Is this okay?Cory
Dear Cory,Rule IV of the 2004 Rules on Notarial Practice specifically provides the powers and limitations of notaries public, to wit:
""Section 1. Powers. - (a) A notary public is empowered to perform the following notarial acts:(1) acknowledgments
(2) oaths and affirmations(3) jurats
(4) signature witnessings(5) copy certifications and(6) any other act authorized by these rules.(b) A notary public is authorized to certify the affixing of a signature by thumb or other mark on an instrument or document presented for notarization if:
(1) the thumb or other mark is affixed in the presence of the notary public and of two (2) disinterested and unaffected witnesses to the instrument or document(2) both witnesses sign their own names in addition to the thumb or other mark(3) the notary public writes below the thumb or other mark: ""Thumb or other mark affixed by (name of signatory by mark) in the presence of (names and addresses of witnesses) and undersigned notary public"" and(4) the notary public notarizes the signature by thumb or other mark through an acknowledgment, jurat, or signature witnessing.(c) A notary public is authorized to sign on behalf of a person who is physically unable to sign or make a mark on an instrument or document if:(1) the notary public is directed by the person unable to sign or make a mark to sign on his behalf(2) the signature of the notary public is affixed in the presence of two disinterested and unaffected witnesses to the instrument or document(3) both witnesses sign their own names(4) the notary public writes below his signature: ""Signature affixed by notary in presence of (names and addresses of person and two  witnesses)"" and(5) the notary public notarizes his signature by acknowledgment or jurat.""Should your aunt want to have a document notarized, she must appear personally before the notary public since she is the signatory thereof. If she will be unable to come back here to personally have her documents notarized, she may not ask you to appear in her behalf before a notary public because that is not allowed. Instead, she may opt to have her documents notarized before the Philippine embassy or consular office.Please remember that a commissioned notary public who agrees to notarize a document without the personal appearance of the signatory or affiant may be penalized. In a recent case, the Supreme Court disbarred a lawyer from the practice of law and perpetually disqualified him from being a commissioned notary public for notarizing documents of a party who was not present before him when the document was notarized:""Corollarily, Attorney Baldovino violated the 2004 Rules on Notarial Practice, which provides that a notary public should not notarize a document unless the signatory to the document is in the notary's presence personally at the time of the notarization, and personally known to the notary public or otherwise identified through competent evidence of identity. The purpose of these requirements is to enable the notary public to verify the genuineness of the signature and to ascertain that the document is the signatory's free act and deed. If the signatory is not acting of his or her own free will, a notary public is mandated to refuse to perform a notarial act. In this case, Attorney Baldovino notarized the verification attached to the petition for nullity of marriage and the judicial affidavit in the absence of Lawrence."" (Edralyn B. Berzola vs. Atty. Marlon O. Baldovino, A.C. No. 12815, November 3, 2020)We hope that we were able to answer your queries. This advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.Editor's note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney's Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org"
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"Personal appearance before notary public a must"
was written by Mary
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comments. The article was created on 15 September 2021
and updated on 15 September 2021