De Lima Falsified Notarized Affidavit, Release Petition Could be Invalid, SolGen Calida Says

Jailed Senator Leila de Lima has falsified a part of the petition document, requesting for her release from the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center in Camp Crame. This is according to Solicitor General Jose Calida, who emphasized that this could a valid reason for the Supreme Court (SC) not to honor her camp’s petition for her release.

According to the manifestation filed by the Office of Solicitor General (OSG) this Monday March 13, Sen. De Lima fabricated the jurats in her petition, as well as in the attached affidavit of merit. A jurat is the clause at the last part of an affidavit, bearing the name and signature of the person before whom it was sworn, along with the place and date.

As the OSG has noted, Sen. De Lima made it appear that she appeared before and sworn before Atty. Maria Cecile Tresvalles-Cabalo on February 24, the same day she was arrested. According to SolGen Calida, it is very unlikely that the jailed senator have signed her Verification and Certification Against Forum Shopping and the Affidavit of Merit.

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“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,” Calida said in a statement, noting that the only time that the Liberal Party (LP) senator could have have personally appeared and sworn before the lawyer is in Camp Crame.

To support his claim, SolGen Calida said that the affidavits of officers at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center attested that said they did not witness De Lima appear and swear before Tresvalles-Cabalo on February 24. In addition, he confirmed that the logbook of the PNP Custodial Center does not contain the lawyer’s name that day.

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“In light of all these, there can be no other conclusion than that De Lima falsified her jurats. The falsity of the subject jurats renders De Lima’s Petition a mere scrap of paper which produces no legal effect.” Calida explained further. On the other hand, Alexander Padilla, De Lima’s lawyer, insisted that the senator personally saw Atty. Tresvalles-Cabalo that day.