BEWARE USE OF UNREGISTERED ALIAS - DOJ

11 September 2009

Anyone who assumes an alias without court approval, this is for you.

The Department recommended today criminal charges against an individual who used an unauthorized assumed name without having a court approval.

In a resolution signed by Undersecretary Ernesto Pineda, he modified a resolution of the Quezon City Pros. Office which has previously dismissed the complaints for concealing true name and violation of Anti-Alias Law filed against respondent Josefina Bersamina Layco a.k,a. Josephine ABL Vigden.

Usec Pineda stated that “the respondent has failed to prove that she used the name(Josephine ABL Vigden) as a pseudonym for literary, cinema, television, radio or other entertainment purposes and in athletic events”. While her name as appearing in the certificate issued by the office of the local civil registry is Josefina Bersamina, “the use of name (Josephine ABL Vigden) has not been authorized by a competent court”, the resolution stressed.

The resolution, which was subject of petition for review filed before the Department, disclosed that a certain Deogracia Valderama filed a complaint with the QC Pros’ Office. On her affidavit-complaint the certification of facts of birth appearing in local civil registry office in Abra, the respondent was registered as Josefina Bersamina as married to Teofilo Layco. The complainant averred the respondent concealed her true name habitually and publicly and also using the said alias. Allegedly, the respondent also used the same assumed name as chief operating officer of a security agency with specific or principal address in Quezon City. The complaint also said there is fraud or deceit when the respondent used said alias as she had practically concealed her true name and hid her personal circumstance, being married to one Teofilo Layco, because the impression created she was married to another person surnamed Vigden.

The respondent denied the allegations. She emphasized the complainant was aware that she has been using Josephine ABL Vigden, particularly on cases filed against her for grave oral defamation pending before a QC MTC. She added that it was complainant herself who claimed the respondent has been using ABL after her name; that A represents her middle name/initial;B her family name Bersamina and L for Layco. With respect to the Anti-Alias Law, respondent counters: that she has been using the complete name Josephine ABL Vigden for sometime in her business transaction; that the said fact has been known to complainant because her husband is a consultant on security services of a security agency; and that surname Vigden has the consent, authority or conformity of Mr. Murray Vigden. Hence, there could not be any ill-motive or bad faith in the use thereof.

The Department sustained the dismissal of the crime of concealing true name, citing that under the second par. of Art. 178 of the RPC the elements of which were not present as, “ there is no showing that respondent intended to conceal her identity and there is no evidence that she concealed her other personal circumstances,” Usec Pineda emphasized.

However, the respondent was found to be held liable for violation of the Anti-Alias Law as she failed to prove that she used the name Josephine ABL Vigden as a pseudonym for literary, cinema, TV, radio or other entertainment purposes and in athletic events. As her name registered is Josefina Bersamina, the use of name Josephine ABL Vigden has not been authorized by a competent court. It was only a certain Mr. Murray Vigden who authorized her to use the said assumed name, hence, it is unregistered a.k.a.

The resolution went on to say that the use of unregistered alias is punishable under CA 142, as amended by RA 6085, a special law. “Well established is the rule that in those crimes punished by special laws, the act alone, irrespective of its motive, constitute the offense” it stressed. “Good faith and absence of criminal intent are not valid defenses in crimes punished by special laws,” the resolution hinted.

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