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[ GR No. 6505, Oct 24, 1911 ]



20 Phil. 385

[ G. R. No. 6505, October 24, 1911 ]




The purpose of the complaint in  this  case  is to collect from Victoriano Pore P711.72, upon an  instrument quoted therein, to which  the  original is also attached.

According to said instrument, he should have paid the debt within a  year from November  16,  190.7,  the date thereof; but the plaintiff avers that on June 17, 1910, the date of the complaint, he had not done so.

The instrument was executed on November 16,1907, and ratified before a notary on February 8 [15], 1909, in the following terms: 

"In the  municipality of Jaro,  of the aforesaid province, this fifteenth day of February, one thousand nine hundred and nine, personally appeared before me Victoriano Pore, whom I know to be the person who executed the foregoing instrument, and he ratified  it as an act of  his own free will.  He exhibited to me his cedula No. F705348, issued at Jaro, February 8, of this year.  Calixto D. Llames."

The defendant denied each and every one of the allegations of the complaint, and specifically under oath, the authenticity, execution and existence of the instrument.

Evidence was introduced  to  show that the  ratification was not an act performed by the defendant, and that while it is averred that he exhibited his personal cedula with the number and date of issue thereof, and these details appear in the certificate, this was because one of the plaintiffs had secured from the office of the municipal treasurer the number and date of issue of said cedula of the  defendant, and could thus enter such data in the certificate, just as if the notary had taken these figures from the cedula itself. 

"But, says the trial court, the  notary before whom such ratification was made  avers  that the defendant exhibited his personal cedula. 

"In my opinion, - the court continues, - the evidence does not destroy the force of the instrument, Exhibit A,  presented by the plaintiffs."

To offset this attestation by  the notary,  the appellant offers the testimony of his witness, Rodrigo Darantinao, a clerk in the municipal  treasury, who says that the Chinaman Yao came to his office to copy the number and date of issue of Victoriano Pore's cedula, without telling  him for what purpose, and without being accompanied by Victoriano Pore.

It is not to be inferred from this testimony that Victoriano Pore did not  appear in  person before the notary for the  act  of ratification, or that the number and date of issue of the cedula were not  obtained from Victoriano himself.

The appellant also objects to the admissions of the plaintiffs and of the notary  and to the cedulas of Victoriano Pore for four years, 1906 to 1910.  On this point, it merely appears that the plaintiff,  Chiu Yuco, said that Victoriano Pore could not write but could sign his name, which, carefully considered,  is not  an admission nor does it involve a paradox or contradiction.

The notary testifies  that, after having informed himself of the contents of the  instrument, he translated it into Visaya, then asked Victoriano Pore if he ratified the contents  of said instrument and if  he  had really  signed the same, and Pore replied that he ratified and acknowledged having signed the instrument. Appellant alleges that the notary admitted  in his  testimony  that he was not  sure whether the  defendant  was the same Victoriano  Pore. That he was not very sure, is what the notary replied, but said that it must be he.

The  certificate of recognition which, under existing law, a notary affixes to an  instrument, is not the same as was required by  Spanish notarial  legislation for legalizing a document.   Under  the latter  he had to  have  personal knowledge beforehand, or  prior  to the execution, and in the absence thereof, that of two witnesses, which fact was recorded in the instrument, while  under existing law he certifies to the knowledge he acquires at the time: "that it is the person who executed the foregoing instrument."

And if in his four  cedulas, from 1906 to 1910, Victoriano  Pore appears to have signed  with a  mark, it may be so, just as it happened that in the. 1906 cedula he appears to be 32 years old  and in the 1907 cedula he is then 41 years old; and it  might have  happened that  in these two cedulas he stated that he  was a merchant and in the later ones a laborer; and so he might have replied to the question, whether he had had any  business with the plaintiffs, by saying:  "No, sir, I am only a laborer."

The conclusion  reached from the evidence  by the  trial court is therefore correct and  free from error.

The judgment is affirmed,  with  the costs of  this instance against the appellant.

Torres,  Mapa, Johnson,  Carson, Moreland, and  Trent, JJ., concur.