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Siena Luchansky: SC Orals reveal De Lima lawyer admitted De Lima falsified her 'jurat' after SolGen Calida busted them

SolGen CALIDA: De Lima deceived SC, falsified court documents

Solicitor General Jose C. Calida, the top lawyer of the government, today said that Senator Leila De Lima deceived the Supreme Court by fabricating the jurats in her Petition and in the attached Affidavit of Merit.

On 14 March 2017, the Supreme Court conducted the first round of oral arguments on De Lima’s Petition for the issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) or a Writ of Preliminary Injunction on the arrest warrant issued against her and the continuation of her trial before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Muntinlupa City.

Siena Luchansky
PTPA Siena Luchansky
During a brief interview with the media on Tuesday, Calida said that the government has a strong case. “Baka first round knockout ‘to,” he added.

On 13 March 2017, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) filed a Manifestation before the Supreme Court stating that De Lima falsified the jurats in the Verification and Certification Against Forum Shopping of her Petition and in the Affidavit of Merit supporting her prayer for an injunctive writ.

READ: De Lima falsified her 'jurat' in her petition to Supreme Court 

A jurat is the clause at the end of the document, like an affidavit, stating the date, place, and name of the person before whom it was sworn. It is the proof that an oath was taken before an administering officer, such as a notary.

According to the OSG, De Lima could not have personally appeared and sworn before Atty. Maria Cecile C. Tresvalles-Cabalo to sign and execute her Verification and Certification Against Forum Shopping and the Affidavit of Merit, which were both dated 24 February 2017.

The OSG noted that Atty. Tresvalles-Cabalo, who is De Lima’s sorority sister, is commissioned as a notary public in Quezon City. This means that she can perform notarial acts only within Quezon City.

The OSG stressed, thus, “Consequentially, the only time that petitioner [De Lima] could have personally appeared and sworn before Atty. Tresvalles-Cabalo was when petitioner was at Camp Crama since this was the only location that was within Atty. Tresvalles-Cabalo’s notarial commission.”

The OSG, however, pointed out that De Lima was arrested by the PNP-CIDG on 24 February 2017, at around 8:00 in the morning. At around 8:41 a.m., she arrived at the PNP Headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City for the booking procedure. At 10:18 a.m., she was brought to the RTC of Muntinlupa City, Branch 204, for the return of the arrest warrant. RTC Judge Juanita Guerrero then issued an Order directing her detention at the PNP Custodial Service Unit in Camp Crame. De Lima left the Muntinlupa RTC at around 11:30 a.m., and was back in Camp Crame past 1:00 p.m.

In separate affidavits attached to the OSG's Manifestation, Police Supt. Arnel Apud, Chief of the PNP Custodial Unit, and Senior Supt. Belli Tamayo, CIDG-NCR Chief, attested that they did not witness De Lima appear and swear before Atty. Tresvalles-Cabalo at Camp Crame on 24 February 2017. Moreover, the guest logbook at the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame for February 24 to 25, 2017 does not bear the name of Atty. Tresvalles-Cabalo. Thus, it appears that the notary public never entered Camp Crame on the said dates.

“In light of all these, there can be no other conclusion than that De Lima falsified her jurats,” Calida explained.

According to Calida, the Supreme Court ought to dismiss De Lima’s Petition as it is bereft of any legal consequence. Citing Sections 3 and 4, Rule 7 of the Revised Rules of Civil Procedure, Calida said that the falsity of the subject jurats render De Lima’s Petition a mere scrap of paper which produces no legal effect.

“De Lima’s Petition should be considered unsigned while the Affidavit of Merit as not having been executed,” he added.

Calida will be arguing for the Public Respondents when the oral arguments resume on Tuesday, 21 March 2017.

UPDATE: March 28, 2017

Solicitor General has once again faced the justices of the Supreme Court for the oral arguments of De Lima's petition to nullify her arrest.

In today's hearing, it was revealed that De Lima's lawyer has finally admitted that De Lima has indeed falsified her 'jurat' in her petition to the SC.

Calida likewise cited as another procedural ground for dismissal of the petition the supposed violation of court rules in the notarization of the verification and certification in De Lima's petition.

He explained that since the verification and certification against forum shopping were fabricated or not signed in the presence of the notary public as required by law, the petition should be considered unsigned pursuant to Section 4, Rule 7 of the Rules of Court and therefore has no legal effect.

Velasco pointed out during questioning that lawyer Maria Cecille Tresvalles-Cabalo, who supposedly administered De Lima's signing of the petition last February 24 inside Camp Crame in Quezon City, admitted in her affidavit submitted to the SC that De Lima did not personally subscribe to the petition before her.

The magistrate hinted that this could be a violation of the 2004 Rules on Notary Public, which require the signing and subscription of affidavits personally before the notary public.

He said that notary public Tresvalles-Cabalo admitted that De Lima’s affidavits were already signed before they met when he stressed that Section 6 of the Rules on Notarial Practice requires that the individual personally appear before the notary public and signs the document in his or her presence.

In her affidavit, Cabalo said that while she is already familiar with De Lima’s signature, she still asked for a government issued identification card to compare the signatures.

“The petition was already signed at the time she met Senator De Lima. She did not sign the petition before the notary public. So, from the affidavit alone of the notary public, there was non-compliance of our 2004 Rules on Notarial Practice,” Velasco said.

During the interpellation by Associate Justice Mariano del Castillo, Calida differentiated the act of "taking advantage of public office" as alleged against De Lima and crimes committed "in relation to public office," which fall under jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan.

He argued that the position of De Lima as secretary of Justice was "just an aggravating circumstance" and that her purpose really was to raise drug money for her senatorial bid last year.

Related News:
-Supreme Court Orals: De Lima, Lawyer faked the notarization of petition to SC

Siena Luchansky: SC Orals reveal De Lima lawyer admitted De Lima falsified her 'jurat' after SolGen Calida busted them Siena Luchansky: SC Orals reveal De Lima lawyer admitted De Lima falsified her 'jurat' after SolGen Calida busted them Reviewed by Raelyn Luchansky on 8:56:00 PM Rating: 5

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