Balabad v. People (G.R. No. 230591. August 16, 2017)

CASE DIGEST: [G.R. No. 230591, August 16, 2017]. VIRGILIO BALABAD AND BENHUR BALABAD VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES.

FACTS: This is a Petition for Review on Certiorari filed under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. Said Petition lacks proof of authority of the affiant, Oscar Maria H. Tan, Jr. (Mr. Tan), to sign the verification and certification on non-forum shopping for and on behalf of petitioners, in violation of Sections 1 and 4, Rule 45, in relation to Sections 4 and 5, Rule 7 of the Rules of Court.

Mr. Tan represents himself as the counsel of petitioners Virgilio and Benhur, both surnamed Balabad. As their alleged representative, he affixed his signature to the verification and certification against forum-shopping.

HELD: Under Section 5, Rule 45 and Sections 5(d), Rule 56 of the Rules of Court, the petition shall be denied for petitioners' failure to comply with any of these requirements.

Mr. Tan committed an erroneous undertaking since the same must be executed by the party-pleader. "A certification is a peculiar personal representation on the part of the principal party, an assurance given to the court or other tribunal that there are no other pending cases involving basically the same parties, issues and causes of action."

It is the petitioners who are in the best position to know whether they actually filed or caused the filing of the petition. When they were unable to sign the certification for reasonable or justifiable grounds, they should have executed a Special Power of Attorney (SPA) designating Mr. Tan as counsel of record to sign on their behalf. Without the proper authorization, the certification is defective and constitutes a valid cause for the denial of the petition.

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