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act of using an alias name, unless such alias was duly authorized by proper

WHEN THE USE OF ALIASES VIOLATES judicial proceedings and recorded in the civil register.
THE LAW
By: jlp | April 8, 2015 in Criminal Law, Immigration Law Is the use of an alias automatically penalized?
1 Reply | Related posts at the bottom of article
Under C.A. 142, the use of a fictitious name or a different name belonging
Iqbals alleged use of aliases violates law solon, states the caption of to another person in a single instance without any sign or indication that
a news article, referring to the allegation of Davao City Representative the user intends to be known by this name in addition to his real name from
Carlo Nogales that the use of an alias by MILF Spokesman Mohagher that day forth does not fall within the prohibition.
Iqbal, apparently not his real name, in official documents violates the
Revised Penal Code and the Anti-Alias law which prohibit the use of
pseudonyms in public documents. It might be helpful to have a summary
What are the relevant laws on false names?
of the laws the penalize the use of aliases.
We point to the summary of these laws, contained in President Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyos Executive Order No. 306 (Instituting Measures to
What is an alias? Promote Lawful Use of Government-Issued Identity Documents and
Prevent Violations of Laws Involving False Names and Identities):
An alias is a name or names used by a person or intended to be used by
him publicly and habitually usually in business transactions in addition to (a) the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2002 (Republic Act [RA] No. 9160,
his real name by which he is registered at birth or baptized the first time or as amended), which requires banks and other covered institutions to
substitute name authorized by a competent authority. A mans name is established and record the true identity of their clients based on official
simply the sound or sounds by which he is commonly designated by his documents;
fellows and by which they distinguish him but sometimes a man is known
by several different names and these are known as aliases.
(b) the Revised Penal Code (Act of 3815, as amended) which penalizes
the public use of a fictitious name for the purpose of concealing a crime,
What is the objective of the law? evading the execution of a judgment, or causing of damage (1st paragraph,
Art 178), the concealment of a persons true name and other personal
The objective and purpose of Commonwealth Act No. 142 (An Act to circumstances (2nd paragraph, Art. 178), and the Act of defrauding
Regulate the Use of Aliases, full text below), according to the Supreme another by using a fictitious name (4th paragraph, Art. 315);
Court, have their origin and basis in Act No. 3883 (An Act to Regulate the
Use in Business Transactions of Names other than True Names, (c) the Civil Code of the Philippines (RA No. 386, as amended), which
Prescribing the Duties of the Director of the Bureau of Commerce And prohibits the use of different names and surnames, except for pen and
Industry in its Enforcement, Providing Penalties for Violations thereof, and stage names (Art. 379 and 380);
for other purposes,), amended by Act No. 4147. This law was made
primarily to curb the common practice among the Chinese of adopting (d) the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940 (Commonwealth Act No. 613 as
scores of different names and aliases which created tremendous confusion amended), which penalizes any individual who shall be evade the
in the field of trade. Such a practice almost bordered on the crime of using immigration laws by appearing under an assumed or fictitious name (Sec.
fictitious names which for obvious reasons could not be successfully 45);
maintained against the Chinese who, rightly or wrongly, claimed they
possessed a thousand and one names. CA. No. 142 thus penalized the

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(e) the Tax Reform Act of 1997 (RA8424), as amended, which made it in case of an alien, with which he was registered in the bureau of
unlawful for any person to enter any false or fictitious name in a taxpayers immigration upon entry; or such substitute name as may have been
books of accounts or records; authorized by a competent court: Provided, That persons, whose births
have not been registered in any local civil registry and who have not been
(f) Presidential Decree No. 1829, which penalizes any individual who shall baptized, have one year from the approval of this act within which to
knowingly or willfully obstruct, impede, frustrate or delay the apprehension register their names in the civil registry of their residence. The name shall
of suspects and the investigation and prosecution of criminal cases by comprise the patronymic name and one or two surnames.
publicly using a fictitious name for the purpose of concealing a crime
evading prosecution or the execution of a judgment, or concealing his true Sec. 2. Any person desiring to use an alias shall apply for authority therefor
name and other personal circumstances for the same purpose (Sec. 1[d]); in proceedings like those legally provided to obtain judicial authority for a
and change of name, and no person shall be allowed to secure such judicial
authority for more than one alias. The petition for an alias shall set forth
(g) Commonwealth Act No. 142, as amended by RA No. 6085, which the persons baptismal and family name and the name recorded in the civil
penalizes any person who shall use any name different from the one with registry, if different, his immigrants name, if an alien, and his pseudonym,
which he was registered at birth in the office of the local civil registry, or if he has such names other than his original or real name, specifying the
with which he was baptized for the first time, or with which he was reason or reasons for the use of the desired alias. The judicial authority for
registered in the Bureau of Immigration, or such substitute name as may the use of alias the Christian name and the alien immigrants name shall
have been authorized by a competent court (Sec. 1); be recorded in the proper local civil registry, and no person shall use any
name or names other, than his original or real name unless the same is or
Rep. Nograles speaks of two laws the Revised Penal Code and the are duly recorded in the proper local civil registry.
anti-alias law. Both provisions carry the penalty of imprisonment. The
pertinent provision of the Revised Penal Code is Article 178, which reads: Sec. 3. No person having been baptized with a name different from that
with which he was registered at birth in the local civil registry, or in case of
Art. 178. Using fictitious name and concealing true name. The an alien, registered in the bureau of immigration upon entry, or any person
penalty of arresto mayor and a fine not to exceed 500 pesos shall be who obtained judicial authority to use an alias, or who uses a pseudonym,
imposed upon any person who shall publicly use a fictitious name for the shall represent himself in any public or private transaction or shall sign or
purpose of concealing a crime, evading the execution of a judgment or execute any public or private document without stating or affixing his real
causing damage. or original name and all names or aliases or pseudonym he is or may have
been authorized to use.
Any person who conceals his true name and other personal circumstances
shall be punished by arresto menor or a fine not to exceed 200 pesos. Sec. 4. Six months from the approval of this act and subject to the
provisions of section 1 hereof, all persons who have used any name and/or
names and alias or aliases different from those authorized in section one
The anti-alias law, on the other hand, is Commonwealth Act No.
of this act and duly recorded in the local civil registry, shall be prohibited to
142 (An Act to Regulate the Use of Aliases), as amended by Republic
use such other name or names and/or alias or aliases.
Act No. 6085, which provides:
Sec. 5. Any violation of this Act shall be punished with imprisonment of
Sec. 1. Except as a pseudonym solely for literary, cinema, television, radio
from one year to five years and a fine of P5,000 to P10,000.
or other entertainment purposes and in athletic events where the use of
pseudonym is a normally accepted practice, no person shall use any name
different from the one with which he was registered at birth in the office of Source: Ursua vs. Court of Appeals (G.R. No. 112170, 10 April 1996.
the local civil registry, or with which he was baptized for the first time, or,
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SUPREME COURT No. ADD-02-280.10 Thereafter, the BOI Commissioner issued a Mission
Manila Order11 to verify petitioners immigration status. The Mission Order was
later recalled12 and the Law and Investigation Division endorsed the
FIRST DIVISION records to the Board of Special Inquiry which directed the parties to submit
their respective memoranda.13
G.R. No. 180364 December 3, 2014
The BOI Ruling
TZE SUN WONG, Petitioner,
vs. In a Judgment14 dated October 2, 2002,the BOI Board of Commissioners
KENNY WONG, Respondent. ordered the deportation of petitioner on the grounds of: (a) illegal use of
alias, i.e., Joseph Wong, which was the name appearing in his drivers
Assailed in this petition for review on certiorari1 are the Decision2 dated May license application; and (b) misrepresenting himself as a Filipino citizen in
15, 2007 and the Resolution3 dated October 23, 2007 of the Court of the same application, in violation of Section 37 (a) (7) and (9) 15 of
Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. SP No. 92607, affirming the deportation of Commonwealth Act No. 613,16 otherwise known as "The Philippine
petitioner Tze Sun Wong (petitioner). Immigration Act of 1940" (Immigration Act), in relation to Sections 1, 2, and
317 of Republic Act No. (RA) 6085.18 Aside from pointing out the
misrepresentations made by petitioner, the BOI took judicial notice of the
The Facts
fact that drivers license applications require the personal appearance of
the applicant in order to prevent fraud. Thus, by allowing someone to apply
Petitioner is a Chinese citizen who immigrated to the Philippines in 1975 for him, he actively involved himself in the preparation and issuance of a
and subsequently acquired a permanent resident status in 1982. As the fraudulent drivers license. By the same account, he cannot then aver that
records would show, he studied, married, and continued to reside in the he was without any participation in the entry of his supposed Philippine
country, and even owned a company called Happy Sun Travel and Tours.4 citizenship in his drivers license.19

On September 12, 2000, respondent Kenny Wong (respondent), owner Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration20 which was eventually denied
and proprietor of San Andres Construction Supply, filed a Complaint by the BOI in a Resolution21 dated December 4, 2002. As such, petitioner
Affidavit5 against petitioner before the Bureau of Immigration (BOI), filed an appeal before the Secretary of Justice.
alleging that the latter had misrepresented, in his drivers license
application, that he was a Filipino citizen. Respondent also averred that
The Secretary of Justice Ruling
petitioner and his business partner, Tina Yu, issued post-dated checks in
the amount of 886,922.00 which, however, bounced to his damage and
prejudice. Thus, taking cue from the foregoing acts, respondent prayed In a Resolution22 dated March 22, 2004, Acting Secretary of Justice Ma.
that petitioner be investigated by the BOI for violation of immigration laws. 6 Merceditas N. Gutierrez affirmed the ruling of the BOI, holding that since it
undisputedly appears on the faceof petitioners drivers license that he is a
Filipino citizen under the name of Joseph Wong, he cannot then raise the
In his Counter-Affidavit7 dated September 28, 2000, petitioner denied
defense that it was not his doing but that of a stranger who merely helped
respondents claim of misrepresentation, stating that when he applied for
him.23 It was further pointed out that petitioners use of the alias "Joseph
a drivers license, it was another person who filled up the application form
Wong" was illegal since said name is notregistered in the BOI and does
for him. However, said person entered the wrong information, particularly,
not fall under the recognized exceptions where use of alias may be
on his name, birth year, and nationality.8
allowed.24
Finding probable cause, the Special Prosecutor filed with the BOI the
applicable deportation charges9 against petitioner, docketed as BSI-D.C.
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Petitioner moved for reconsideration25 and raised the argument that the Section 1, Rule 43 of the Rules of Court clearly states that decisions of any
Judgment of the BOI was null and void since only two quasi-judicial agency in the exercise of its quasi-judicial functions (except
commissioners26 participated in the decision-making process. Secretary of to judgments or final ordersissued under the Labor Code of the Philippines)
Justice Raul M. Gonzalez rendered a Resolution27 dated September 9, shall be appealed to the CA under this rule.
2005, rejecting petitioners argument on the basis of Section 8 of the
Immigration Act which simply requires that "[i]n any case coming before RULE 43
the [BOI] Board of Commissioners, the decision of any two members shall
prevail[,]" as in this case. It was added that when petitioner sought to Appeals From the Court of Tax Appeals and Quasi-Judicial Agencies to
reconsider said Judgment, all four (4) commissioners 28 decided in favor of the Court of Appeals Section 1. Scope. This Rule shall apply to appeals
his deportation.29 from judgments or final orders of the Court of Tax Appeals and from
awards, judgments, final orders or resolutions of or authorized by any
Dissatisfied, petitioner filed a petition for certiorari30 before the CA. quasijudicial agency in the exercise of its quasi-judicial functions. Among
these agencies are the Civil Service Commission, Central Board of
The CA Ruling Assessment Appeals, Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of the
President, Land Registration Authority, Social Security Commission, Civil
In a Decision31 dated May 15, 2007, the CA denied32 the certiorari petition. Aeronautics Board, Bureau of Patents, Trademarks and Technology
Preliminarily, it found that petitioner chose the wrong remedy considering Transfer, National Electrification Administration, Energy Regulatory Board,
that the decisions of the BOI Board of Commissioners are directly National Telecommunications Commission, Department of Agrarian
appealable to the CA under Rule 43 of the Rules of Court. 33 The CA also Reform under Republic Act No. 6657, Government Service Insurance
observed that even on the assumption that the Secretary of Justice was System, Employees Compensation Commission, Agricultural Inventions
given the authority to countermand the BOI Judgment under the Board, Insurance Commission, Philippine Atomic Energy Commission,
Administrative Code, no countermand was made, and hence, the same Board of Investments, Construction Industry Arbitration Commission, and
should have already attained finality.34 On the substantive aspects, the CA voluntary arbitrators authorized by law. (Emphasis supplied)
affirmed the ruling of the Secretary of Justice that petitioner should be
deported for violating the abovementioned rules. 35 The statutory basis of the CAs appellate jurisdiction over decisions
rendered by quasi-judicial agencies (except those falling within the
Petitioner sought reconsideration36 but was denied in a Resolution37 dated appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court inaccordance with the
October 23, 2007, hence, this petition. Constitution, the Labor Code of the Philippines under Presidential Decree
No. 442) in the abovementioned respect is Section 9 (3) of Batas
The Issue Before the Court Pambansa Bilang 129,38 as amended:39

The sole issue for the Courts resolution is whether or not the CA correctly Section 9. Jurisdiction. The Court of Appeals shall exercise:
denied petitioners petition for certiorari.
xxxx
The Courts Ruling
(3) Exclusive appellate jurisdiction over all final judgments, decisions
The petition is without merit. resolutions, orders or awards of Regional Trial Courts and quasi-judicial
agencies, instrumentalities, boards or commissions, including the
Securities and Exchange Commission, the Social Security Commission,
The Court first discusses the propriety of petitioners recourse before the
the Employees Compensation Commission and the Civil Service
CA.
Commission, except those falling withinthe appellate jurisdiction of the
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Supreme Court in accordance with the Constitution, the Labor Code of the Citing Caoile, the Court, in the more recent case of Kiani v. The Bureau of
Philippines under Presidential Decree No. 442, as amended, the Immigration and Deportation,48expounded on the procedure:
provisions of this Act, and of subparagraph (1) of the third paragraph and
subparagraph (4) of the fourth paragraph of Section 17 of the Judiciary Act Under Section 8, Chapter 3, TitleI, Book III of Executive Order No. 292, the
of 1948. power to deport aliens isvested on the President of the Philippines, subject
to the requirements of due process. The Immigration Commissioner is
xxxx vested with authority to deport aliens under Section 37 of the Philippine
Immigration Act of 1940, as amended.49 Thus, a party aggrieved by a
Notably, in Cayao-Lasam v. Spouses Ramolete,40 it was clarified that the Deportation Order issued by the [Board of Commissioner (BOC)] is
enumeration of the quasi-judicial agencies under Section 1, Rule 43 is not proscribed from assailing said Order in the RTC even via a petition for a
exclusive: writ of habeas corpus. Conformably with [the] ruling of the Court in
[Commissioner] Domingo v. Scheer(see 466 Phil. 235, 264-284 [2004]),
The Rule expressly provides that it should be applied to appeals from such party may file a motion for the reconsideration thereof before the
awards, judgments, final orders or resolutions of any quasi-judicial agency BOC. The Court ruled therein that "there is no law or rule which provides
in the exercise of its quasi-judicial functions. The phrase "among these that a Summary Deportation Order issued by the BOC in the exercise of
agencies" confirms that the enumeration made in the Rule is not exclusive its authority becomes final after one year from its issuance, or that the
to the agencies therein listed.41 aggrieved party is barred from filing a motion for a reconsideration of any
order or decision of the BOC." The Court, likewise, declared that in
deportation proceedings, the Rules of Court may be applied in a suppletory
Thus, although unmentioned in the enumeration, the Court, in the case of
manner and that the aggrieved party may file a motion for reconsideration
Dwikarna v. Hon. Domingo42 (Dwikarna), held that the decisions rendered
of a decision or final order under Rule 37 of said Rules.
by the BOI Board of Commissioners may be appealable to the CA via Rule
43 in the event that a motion for reconsideration therefrom is denied:
In case such motion for reconsideration is denied by the BOC, the
aggrieved party may appeal to the Secretary of Justice and, if the latter
If petitioner is dissatisfied with the decision of the Board of Commissioners
denies the appeal, to the Office of the President of the Philippines [(OP)].
of the Bureau of Immigration, he can move for its reconsideration. If his
The party may also choose to file a petition for certiorariwith the CA under
motion is denied, thenhe can elevate his case by way of a petition for
Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, on the ground that the Secretary of Justice
review before the Court of Appeals, pursuant to Section 1, Rule 43 of the
acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to excess or lack of
1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.43 (Emphasis supplied)
jurisdiction in dismissing the appeal, the remedy of appeal not being
adequate and speedy remedy. In case the Secretary of Justice dismisses
It bears elucidation that the availability of a Rule 43 appeal to the CA from the appeal, the aggrieved party may resort to filing a petition for review
the BOI Board of Commissioners as ruled in Dwikarna presupposes the under Rule 43 of the Rules of Court, as amended.50
presence of any of the exceptions to the doctrine of exhaustion of
administrative remedies,44 considering that the Secretary of Justice may
Thus, to recap, from the denial of the BOI Board of Commissioners motion
still review the decisions of the aforesaid body. In Caoile v. Vivo 45 (Caoile),
for reconsideration, the aggrieved party has three (3) options: (a) he may
it was held: [S]ince the Commissioners of Immigration are under the
file an appeal directly to the CA via Rule 43 provided that he shows that
Department of Justice46 and, in this case, they followed the Secretarys
any of the exceptions to the exhaustion doctrine attend; (b) absent any of
Order setting aside the individual actions of the former Commissioners, the
the exceptions, he may exhaust the available administrative remedies
aggrieved parties should have exhausted their administrative remedies by
within the executive machinery, namely, an appeal to the Secretary of
appealing to the Secretary before seeking judicial intervention. 47
Justice and then to the OP, and thereafter, appeal the OPs decisions via
Rule 43;51 or (c) he may directly resort to certiorari before the CA strictly on
jurisdictional grounds, provided that he explains why any of the
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aforementioned remedies cannot be taken as "adequate and speedy." abuse must be shown to be grave. Grave abuse of discretion means either
Anent the last of these options, the Court, inRigor v. CA,52 had this to say: that the judicial or quasi-judicial power was exercised in an arbitrary or
despotic manner by reason of passion or personal hostility, or that the
For a writ of certiorarito issue, a petitioner must not only prove that the respondent judge, tribunal or board evaded a positive duty, or virtually
tribunal, board or officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions has refused to perform the duty enjoined or to act in contemplation of law, such
acted without orin excess of jurisdiction. He must also show that he has no as when such judge, tribunal or board exercising judicial or quasi-judicial
plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law against powers acted in a capricious or whimsical manner as to be equivalent to
whathe perceives to be a legitimate grievance. A recourse affording prompt lack of jurisdiction."57
relief from the injurious effects of the judgment or acts of a lower court or
tribunal is considered "plain, speedy and adequate" remedy. 53 Petitioners certiorari petition before the CA basically revolves on his denial
of the acts of misrepresentation imputed against him, claiming that the
Case law explains that "[a] remedy isplain, speedy and adequate if it will same do not warrant his deportation. However, the commission of said acts
promptly relieve the petitioner from the injurious effects of the judgment, involves factual matters that have already been established during the
order, or resolution of the lower court or agency." 54 In this relation, it has proceedings before the BOI Board of Commissioners. In this regard, it is
been recognized that the extraordinary remedy of certiorari may be crucial to point out that "[t]he Bureau is the agency that can best determine
deemed proper "when it is necessary to prevent irreparable damages and whether petitioner violated certain provisions of the Philippine Immigration
injury to a party, x x x where an appeal would be slow, inadequate, and Act of 1940, as amended. In this jurisdiction, courts will not interfere in
insufficient, x x x and x x x in case of urgency." 55 matters which are addressed to the sound discretion of government
agencies entrusted with the regulation of activities coming under the
In this case, petitioner instituted anadministrative appeal before the special technical knowledge and training of such agencies. By reason of
Secretary of Justice and thereafter sought direct recourse to the CA via the special knowledge and expertise of administrative departments over
certiorari, thereby leap-frogging other available remedies, the first being a matters falling within their jurisdiction, they are in a better position to pass
subsequent administrative appeal to the OP and, eventually, an appeal of judgment thereon and their findings of fact in that regard are generally
the OP decision to the CA via Rule 43. While these remedies remained accorded respect, if not finality, by the courts."58 As petitioner has not
available to him, the Court deems that they would not afford him speedy sufficiently demonstrated any cogent reason to deviate from the BOI Board
and adequate relief in view of the plain imminence of his deportation, by of Commissioners findings, courts are wont to defer to its judgment.
virtue of the issuance of a warrant of deportation. 56 The urgency of such
circumstance therefore justified his direct resort to certiorari. Besides, petitioners defenses anent what had actually transpired during
the relevant incidents surrounding his drivers license application
This notwithstanding, the Court nonetheless denies the petition on apparently constitute mere self-serving allegations barren of any
substantive grounds. independent proof. While he blamed the unnamed fixer filling up the
erroneous details in his application, his version of the story remained
uncorroborated. The lack of testimony on the part of the fixer leaves much
It must be highlighted that the case under consideration essentially calls
to be desired from petitioners theory.
for the Court to determine whether the CAs dismissal of petitioners
certioraripetition before it was correct.
Moreover, the Courts review of the present case is via a petition for review
under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, which generally bars any question
"In a special civil action for certiorari brought against a court with
pertaining to the factual issuesraised. The well-settled rule is that questions
jurisdiction over a case, the petitioner carries the burden to prove that the
of fact are not reviewable in petitions for review under Rule 45, subject only
respondent tribunal committed not merelya reversible error but a grave
to certain exceptions, among them, the lack of sufficient support in
abuse of discretion amounting to lack orexcess of jurisdiction in issuing the
evidence of the trial courts judgment or the appellate courts
impugned order. Showing mere abuse ofdiscretion is not enough, for the
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misapprehension of the adduced facts.59 None of these exceptions was, of the presumption and in case of doubt as to an officers act being lawful
however, convincingly shown toattend in this case. or unlawful, construction should be in favor of its lawfulness. 63

Now, on the matter of the alleged nullity of the BOI Board of In particular, the presumption that the Judgment had been deliberated by
Commissioners Judgment due to the fact that it had been signed only by the BOI Board of Commissioners as a collegial body stands. In any event,
two (2) commissioners, suffice it to state that Section 8 of the Immigration the lack of any concurrence or dissension from the two (2) other
Act simply requires that in any case coming before the BOI Board of commissioners missing on the face of the October 2, 2002 Judgment has
Commissioners, the decision of any two (2) members shall prevail: already been placated by their eventualsigning of full concurrence in the
subsequent Resolution dated December 4, 2002 denying petitioners
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS motion for reconsideration. WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The
Decision dated May 15, 2007 and the Resolution dated October 23, 2007
Sec. 8. Decision of the Board. - The board of Commissioners, hereinafter of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 92607 are hereby AFFIRMED.
referred to in this Act, shall be composed of the Commissioner of
Immigration and the two Deputy Commissioners. In the absence of a SO ORDERED.
member of the Board, the Department Head shall designate an officer or
employee in the Bureau of Immigration to serve as a member thereof. In
any case coming before the Board of Commissioners, the decision of any
two members shall prevail.

Petitioner argues that the foregoing rule only refers to the number of votes
necessary to constitute the decision of the Board, insisting that deliberation
should still bemade by all commissioners as a collegial body.60

Petitioners argument is correct in theory since deliberation by all members


of the collegial body is evidently what the rule contemplates, with the votes
of only two (2) members being sufficient for a decision to prevail.
Unfortunately, however, petitioner has not shown any proof that
deliberations were not conducted by all commissioners before the
questioned Judgment was made. The rule is well-settled that he who
alleges a fact has the burden of proving it and a mere allegation is not
evidence.61 Thus, once more, his self-serving assertion cannot begiven
credence. This is especially so in light of the presumption of regularity,
which herein ought to prevail due to the absence of any clear and
convincing evidence to the contrary. Bustillo v. People 62 states:

The presumption of regularity of official acts may be rebutted by affirmative


evidence of irregularity or failure to perform a duty. The presumption,
1wphi1

however, prevails until itis overcome by no less than clear and convincing
evidence to the contrary. Thus, unless the presumption is rebutted, it
becomes conclusive. Every reasonable intendment will be made in support

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FIRST DIVISION alias is a name or names used by a person or intended to be used by him
publicly and habitually usually in business transactions in addition to his
[G.R. No. 112170. April 10, 1996] real name by which he is registered at birth or baptized the first time or
substitute name authorized by a competent authority. A mans name is
CESARIO URSUA, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS AND simply the sound or sounds by which he is commonly designated by his
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents. fellows and by which they distinguish him but sometimes a man is known
by several different names and thse are known as aliases.
SYLLABUS
4. ID.; ID.; USE OF FICTITIOUS NAME IN A SINGLE TRANSACTION
WITHOUT INTENDING TO BE KNOWN BY THIS NAME IN ADDITION
1. STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION; STATUTES; CONSTRUED WITH
TO HIS REAL NAME, NOT A VIOLATION THEREOF. - The use of a
REFERENCE TO THE INTENDED SCOPE AND PURPOSE. - Time and
fictitious name or a different name belonging to another person in a
again we have decreed that statutes are to be construed in the light of
single instance without any sign or indication that the user intends to be
the purposes to be achieved and the evils sought to be remedied. Thus in
known by this name in addition to his real name from that day forth does
construing a statute the reason for its enactment should be kept in mind
not fall within the prohibition contained in C.A. No. 142 as amended.
and the statute should be construed with reference to the intended scope
and purpose. The court may consider the spirit and reason of the statute,
where a literal meaning would lead to absurdity, contradiction, injustice, 5. ID.; ID.; ID.; CASE AT BAR. - This is so in the case at bench. It is not
or would defeat the clear purpose of the lawmakers. disputed that petitioner introduced himself in the Office of the
Ombudsman as Oscar Perez, which was the name of the messenger of
his lawyer who should have brought the letter to that office in the first
2. ID.; COMMONWEALTH ACT 142, AS AMENDED (AN ACT TO
place instead of petitioner. He did so while merely serving the request of
REGULATE THE USE OF ALIASES); PURPOSE IS TO REGULATE
his lawyer to obtain a copy of the complaint in which petitioner was a
THE USE OF ALIASES IN BUSINESS TRANSACTION. - The objective
respondent. There is no question then that Oscar Perez is not an alias
and purpose of C.A. No. 142 have their origin and basis in Act No. 3883,
name of petitioner. There is no evidence showing that he had used or
An Act to Regulate the Use in Business Transactions of Names other
was intending to use that name as his second name in addition to his real
than True Names, Prescribing the Duties of the Director of the Bureau of
name. The use of the name Oscar Perez was made by petitioner in an
Commerce and Industry in its Enforcement, Providing Penalties for
isolated transaction where he was not even legally required to expose his
Violations thereof, and for other purposes, which was approved on 14
real identity. For, even if he had identified himself properly at the Office of
November 1931 and amended by Act No. 4147, approved on 28
the Ombudsman, petitioner would still be able to get a copy of the
November 1934. The enactment of C.A. No. 142 as amended was made
complaint as a matter of right, and the Office of the Ombudsman could
primarily to curb the common practice among the Chinese of adopting
not refuse him because the complaint was part of public records hence
scores of different names and aliases which created tremendous
open to inspection and examination by anyone under the proper
confusion in the field of trade. Such a practice almost bordered on the
circumstances. While the act of petitioner may be covered by other
crime of using fictitious names which for obvious reasons could not be
provisions of law, such does not constitute an offense within the concept
successfully maintained against the Chinese who, rightly or wrongly,
of C.A. No. 142 as amended under which he is prosecuted. The
claimed they possessed a thousand and one names. C.A. No. 142 thus
confusion and fraud in business transactions which the anti-alias law and
penalized the act of using an alias name, unless such alias was duly
its related statutes seek to prevent are not present here as the
authorized by proper judicial proceedings and recorded in the civil
circumstances are peculiar and distinct from those contemplated by the
register.
legislature in enacting C.A. No. 142 as amended. There exists a valid
presumption that undesirable consequences were never intended by a
3. CRIMINAL LAW; COMMONWEALTH ACT 142, AS AMENDED (AN legislative measure and that a construction of which the statute is fairly
ACT TO REGULATE THE USE OF ALIASES); ALIAS, DEFINED. - An susceptible is favored, which will avoid all objectionable, mischievous,
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indefensible, wrongful, evil and injurious consequences. Indeed, our mind report the involvement of petitioner and others in the illegal cutting of
cannot rest easy on the proposition that petitioner should be convicted on mahogany trees and hauling of illegally-cut logs in the area.[2]
a law that does not clearly penalize the act done by him.
On 1 August 1989 Atty. Francis Palmones, counsel for petitioner, wrote
Wherefore, the questioned decision of the Court of Appeals affirming that the Office of the Ombudsman in Davao City requesting that he be
of the Regional Trial Court of Davao City is REVERSED and SET ASIDE furnished copy of the complaint against petitioner. Atty. Palmones then
and petitioner CESARIO URSUA is ACQUITTED of the crime charged. asked his client Ursua to take his letter-request to the Office of the
Ombudsman because his law firms messenger, Oscar Perez, had to
6. STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION; A PENAL STATUTE LIKE attend to some personal matters. Before proceeding to the Office of the
COMMONWEALTH ACT 142, AS AMENDED, CONSTRUED STRICTLY Ombudsman petitioner talked to Oscar Perez and told him that he was
AGAINST THE STATE AND IN FAVOR OF THE ACCUSED. - As C.A. reluctant to personally ask for the document since he was one of the
No. 142 is a penal statute, it should be construed strictly against the respondents before the Ombudsman. However, Perez advised him not to
State and in favor of the accused. The reason for this principle is the worry as he could just sign his (Perez) name if ever he would be required
tenderness of the law for the rights of individuals and the object is to to acknowledge receipt of the complaint.[3]
establish a certain rule by conformity to which mankind would be safe,
and the discretion of the court limited. When petitioner arrived at the Office of the Ombudsman in Davao City he
was instructed by the security officer to register in the visitors
APPEARANCES OF COUNSEL logbook. Instead of writing down his name petitioner wrote the name
Oscar Perez after which he was told to proceed to the Administrative
Ceferino Padua Law Office for petitioner. Division for the copy of the complaint he needed. He handed the letter of
Atty. Palmones to the Chief of the Administrative Division, Ms. Loida
Kahulugan, who then gave him a copy of the complaint, receipt of which
The Solicitor General for respondents.
he acknowledged by writing the name Oscar Perez. [4]
DECISION
Before petitioner could leave the premises he was greeted by an
acquaintance, Josefa Amparo, who also worked in the same office. They
BELLOSILLO, J.: conversed for a while then he left. When Loida learned that the person
who introduced himself as Oscar Perez was actually petitioner Cesario
This is a petition for a review of the decision of the Court of Appeals Ursua, a customer of Josefa Amparo in her gasoline station, Loida
which affirmed the conviction of petitioner by the Regional Trial Court of reported the matter to the Deputy Ombudsman who recommended that
Davao City for violation of Sec. 1 of C.A. No. 142, as amended by R.A. petitioner be accordingly charged.
No. 6085, otherwise known as An Act to Regulate the Use of Alliases.[1]
On 18 December 1990, after the prosecution had completed the
Petitioner Cesario Ursua was a Community Environment and Natural presentation of its evidence, petitioner without leave of court filed a
Resources Officer assigned in Kidapawan, Cotabato. On 9 May 1989 the demurrer to evidence alleging that the failure of the prosecution to prove
Provincial Governor of Cotabato requested the Office of the Ombudsman that his supposed alias was different from his registered name in the local
in Manila to conduct an investigation on a complaint for bribery, civil registry was fatal to its cause. Petitioner argued that no document
dishonesty, abuse of authority and giving of unwarranted benefits by from the local civil registry was presented to show the registered name of
petitioner and other officials of the Department of Environment and accused which according to him was a condition sine qua non for the
Natural Resources. The complaint was initiated by the Sangguniang validity of his conviction.
Panlalawigan of Cotabato through a resolution advising the Governor to

Page 9 of 17
The trial court rejected his contentions and found him guilty of violating thereof, its amendments and related statutes are herein cited. C.A. No.
Sec. 1 of C.A. No. 142 as amended by R. A. No. 6085. He was 142, which was approved on 7 November 1936, and before its
sentenced to suffer a prison term of one (1) year and one (1) day amendment by R. A. No. 6085, is entitled An Act to Regulate the Use of
of prision correccional minimum as minimum, to four (4) years of prision Aliases. It provides as follows:
correccional medium as maximum, with all the accessory penalties
provided for by law, and to pay a fine of P4,000.00 plus costs. Section 1. Except as a pseudonym for literary purposes, no person shall
use any name different from the one with which he was christened or by
Petitioner appealed to the Court of Appeals. which he has been known since his childhood, or such substitute name as
may have been authorized by a competent court. The name shall comprise
On 31 May 1993 the Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction of the patronymic name and one or two surnames.
petitioner but modified the penalty by imposing an indeterminate term of
one (1) year as minimum to three (3) years as maximum and a fine of Section 2. Any person desiring to use an alias or aliases shall apply for
P5,000.00. authority therefor in proceedings like those legally provided to obtain
judicial authority for a change of name. Separate proceedings shall be had
Petitioner now comes to us for review of his conviction as. he reasserts for each alias, and each new petition shall set forth the original name and
his innocence. He contends that he has not violated C.A. No. 142 as the alias or aliases for the use of which judicial authority has been obtained,
amended by R. A. No. 6085 as he never used any alias name; neither is specifying the proceedings and the date on which such authority was
Oscar Perez his alias. An alias, according to him, is a term which granted. Judicial authorities for the use of aliases shall be recorded in the
connotes the habitual use of another name by which a person is also proper civil register x x x.
known. He claims that he has never been known as Oscar Perez and
that he only used such name on one occasion and it was with the The above law was subsequently amended by R. A. No. 6085, approved
express consent of Oscar Perez himself. It is his position that an on 4 August 1969. As amended, C.A. No. 142 now reads:
essential requirement for a conviction under C.A. No. 142 as amended by
R. A. No. 6085 has not been complied with when the prosecution failed to Section 1. Except as a pseudonym solely for literary, cinema, television,
prove that his supposed alias was different from his registered name in radio or other entertainment purposes and in athletic events where the use
the Registry of Births. He further argues that the Court of Appeals erred of pseudonym is a normally accepted practice, no person shall use any
in not considering the defense theory that he was charged under the name different from the one with which he was registered at birth in the
wrong law.[5] office of the local civil registry or with which he was baptized for the first
time, or in case of an alien, with which he was registered in the bureau of
Time and again we have decreed that statutes are to be construed in the immigration upon entry; or such substitute name as may have been
light of the purposes to be achieved and the evils sought to be authorized by a competent court: Provided, That persons whose births
remedied. Thus in construing a statute the reason for its enactment have not been registered in any local civil registry and who have not been
should be kept in mind and the statute should be construed with baptized, have one year from the approval of this act within which to
reference to the intended scope and purpose. [6] The court may consider register their names in the civil registry of their residence. The name shall
the spirit and reason of the statute, where a literal meaning would lead to comprise the patronymic name and one or two surnames.
absurdity, contradiction, injustice, or would defeat the clear purpose of
the lawmakers.[7] Sec. 2. Any person desiring to use an alias shall apply for authority therefor
in proceedings like those legally provided to obtain judicial authority for a
For a clear understanding of the purpose of C.A. No. 142 as amended, change of name and no person shall be allowed to secure such judicial
which was allegedly violated by petitioner, and the surrounding authority for more than one alias. The petition for an alias shall set forth
circumstances under which the law was enacted, the pertinent provisions the persons baptismal and family name and the name recorded in the civil

Page 10 of 17
registry, if different, his immigrants name, if an alien, and his pseudonym, There can hardly be any doubt that petitioners use of alias Kheng Chiau
if he has such names other than his original or real name, specifying the Young in addition to his real name Yu Cheng Chiau would add to more
reason or reasons for the desired alias. The judicial authority for the use confusion. That he is known in his business, as manager of the Robert
of alias, the christian name and the alien immigrants name shall be Reid, Inc., by the former name, is not sufficient reason to allow him its
recorded in the proper local civil registry, and no person shall use any use. After all, petitioner admitted that he is known to his associates by both
name or names other than his original or real name unless the same is or names. In fact, the Anselmo Trinidad, Inc., of which he is a customer,
are duly recorded in the proper local civil registry. knows him by his real name. Neither would the fact that he had
encountered certain difficulties in his transactions with government offices
The objective and purpose of C. A. No. 142 have their origin and basis in which required him to explain why he bore two names, justify the grant of
Act No. 3883, An Act to Regulate the Use in Business Transactions of his petition, for petitioner could easily avoid said difficulties by simply using
Names other than True Names, Prescribing the Duties of the Director of and sticking only to his real name Yu Cheng Chiau.
the Bureau of Commerce And Industry in its Enforcement, Providing
Penalties for Violations thereof, and for other purposes, which was The fact that petitioner intends to reside permanently in the Philippines, as
approved on 14 November 1931 and amended by Act No. 4147, shown by his having filed a petition for naturalization in Branch V of the
approved on 28 November 1934.[8] The pertinent provisions of Act No. abovementioned court, argues the more against the grant of his petition,
3883 as amended follow -Section 1. It shall be unlawful for any person to because if naturalized as a Filipino citizen, there would then be no
use or sign, on any written or printed receipt including receipt for tax or necessity for his further using said alias, as it would be contrary to the usual
business or any written or printed contract not verified by a notary public Filipino way and practice of using only one name in ordinary as well as
or on any written or printed evidence of any agreement or business business transactions. And, as the lower court correctly observed, if he
transactions, any name used in connection with his business other than believes (after he is naturalized) that it would be better for him to write his
his true name, or keep conspicuously exhibited in plain view in or at the name following the Occidental method, he can easily file a petition for
place where his business is conducted, if he is engaged in a business, change of name, so that in lieu of the name Yu Kheng Chian, he can,
any sign announcing a firm name or business name or style without first abandoning the same, ask for authority to adopt the name Kheng Chiau
registering such other name, or such firm name, or business name or Young.
style in the Bureau of Commerce together with his true name and that of
any other person having a joint or common interest with him in such All things considered, we are of the opinion and so hold, that petitioner
contract agreement, business transaction, or business x x x. has not shown satisfactory proper and reasonable grounds under the
aforequoted provisions of Commonwealth Act No. 142 and the Rules of
For a bit of history, the enactment of C.A. No. 142 as amended was Court, to warrant the grant of his petition for the use of an alias name.
made primarily to curb the common practice among the Chinese of
adopting scores of different names and aliases which created Clearly therefore an alias is a name or names used by a person or
tremendous confusion in the field of trade. Such a practice almost intended to be used by him publicly and habitually usually in business
bordered on the crime of using fictitious names which for obvious transactions in addition to his real name by which he is registered at birth
reasons could not be successfully maintained against the Chinese who, or baptized the first time or substitute name authorized by a competent
rightly or wrongly, claimed they possessed a thousand and one authority. A mans name is simply the sound or sounds by which he is
names. CA. No. 142 thus penalized the act of using an alias name, commonly designated by his fellows and by which they distinguish him
unless such alias was duly authorized by proper judicial proceedings and but sometimes a man is known by several different names and these are
recorded in the civil register.[9] known as aliases.[11] Hence, the use of a fictitious name or a different
name belonging to another person in a single instance without any sign
In Yu Kheng Chiau v. Republic[10] the Court had occasion to explain the or indication that the user intends to be known by this name in addition to
meaning, concept and ill effects of the use of an alias within the purview his real name from that day forth does not fall within the prohibition
of C.A. No. 142 when we ruled contained in C.A. No. 142 as amended. This is so in the case at bench.
Page 11 of 17
It is not disputed that petitioner introduced himself in the Office of the
Ombudsman as Oscar Perez, which was the name of the messenger of
his lawyer who should have brought the letter to that office in the first
place instead of petitioner. He did so while merely serving the request of
his lawyer to obtain a copy of the complaint in which petitioner was a
respondent.There is no question then that Oscar Perez is not
an alias name of petitioner. There is no evidence showing that he had
used or was intending to use that name as his second name in addition
to his real name. The use of the name Oscar Perez was made by
petitioner in an isolated transaction where he was not even legally
required to expose his real identity. For, even if he had identified himself
properly at the Office of the Ombudsman, petitioner would still be able to
get a copy of the complaint as a matter of right, and the Office of the
Ombudsman could not refuse him because the complaint was part of
public records hence open to inspection and examination by anyone
under the proper circumstances.

While the act of petitioner may be covered by other provisions of law,


such does not constitute an offense within the concept of C.A. No. 142 as
amended under which he is prosecuted.The confusion and fraud in
business transactions which the anti-alias law and its related statutes
seek to prevent are not present here as the circumstances are peculiar
and distinct from those contemplated by the legislature in enacting C.A.
No. 142 as amended. There exists a valid presumption that undesirable
consequences were never intended by a legislative measure and that a
construction of which the statute is fairly susceptible is favored, which will
avoid all objectionable, mischievous, indefensible, wrongful, evil and
injurious consequences.[12]Moreover, as C.A. No. 142 is a penal statute,
it should be construed strictly against the State and in favor of the
accused.[13] The reason for this principle is the tenderness of the law for
the rights of individuals and the object is to establish a certain rule by
conformity to which mankind would be safe, and the discretion of the
court limited.[14] Indeed, our mind cannot rest easy on the proposition that
petitioner should be convicted on a law that does not clearly penalize the
act done by him.

WHEREFORE, the questioned decision of the Court of Appeals affirming


that of the Regional Trial Court of Davao City is REVERSED and SET
ASIDE and petitioner CESARIO URSUA is ACQUITTED of the crime
charged.

SO ORDERED.
Page 12 of 17
G.R. No. 162205 March 31, 2014 and/or EUGENIO GONZALEZ and that thereafter, he transferred to the
University of Santo Tomas and therein took up architecture and that upon
REVELINA LIMSON, Petitioner, commencement of his professional practice in 1943, he made use of his
vs. second name, JUAN. Consequently, in his professional practice, he has
EUGENIO JUAN GONZALEZ, Respondent. identified himself as much as possible as Arch. Eugenio Juan Gonzalez,
because the surname GONZALEZ was and is still, a very common
DECISION surname throughout the Philippines and he wanted to distinguish himself
with his second given name, JUAN, after his first given name, EUGENIO.
Gonzalez supposed [sic] his allegations with various supporting
BERSAMIN, J.:
documents x x x.
Under review is the decision promulgated on July 31, 2003, 1 whereby the
After receiving pertinent Affidavits and evidentiary documents from
Court of Appeals dismissed petitioner Revelina Limson' s petition for
Limson and Gonzalez, respectively, the Prosecutor dismissed the
certiorari assailing the denial by the Secretary of Justice of her petition for
criminal charge against Gonzalez, finding that indeed EUGENIO JUAN R.
review vis-a-vis the adverse resolutions of the Office of the City
GONZALES [sic] is the architect registered in the PRC. Said Resolution
Prosecutor of Mandaluyong City (OCP) of her charges for falsification
was issued on March 30, 1998 x x x.
and illegal use of aliases against respondent Eugenio Juan Gonzalez.
Limson elevated the Resolution of the Prosecutor x x x to the Secretary
Antecedents
of Justice. Before the Secretary of Justice, she utilized the basic
arguments she had raised before the Prosecutors Office, with slight
The antecedents as found by the CA are as follows: variations, in assailing said adverse Resolution of the Prosecutor.

On or about December 1, 1997, Limson filed a criminal charge against After Opposition by Gonzalez, the Secretary of Justice dismissed the
Gonzalez for falsification, before the Prosecutor's Office of Mandaluyong appeal of Limson. The Secretary of Justice affirmed and even expanded
City. the findings of the Prosecutor x x x.

Vice Associate Justice Bienvenido L. Reyes, who penned the decision Not content with said Resolution of the Secretary of Justice, Limson filed
under review, pursuant to the raffle of May 8, 2013. a motion for reconsideration therefrom; which, after Opposition by
Gonzalez, was dismissed by the Secretary of Justice, on September 15,
The charge for [sic] falsification of [sic] Limson is based on Limsons 2000 x x x. Said dismissal was with finality.
assertion that in the records of the Professional Regulatory Commission
(PRC), a certain EUGENIO GONZALEZ is registered as an architect Notwithstanding the foregoing, on or about September 25, 2000, Limson
and that Gonzalez, who uses, among others, the name EUGENIO JUAN filed a new letter complaint against Gonzalez, with the Secretary of
GONZALEZ, and who pretends to be said architect. Registered [sic] with Justice. She alleged the same basic facts, evidence, and charges, as
the PRC, is an impostor and therefore, guilty [sic] of falsification x x x." already resolved by the Prosecutor and affirmed with finality, by the
Secretary of Justice; but adding the accusation that because Gonzalez
Gonzalez filed his Counter-Affidavit, wherein he explained in detail that used various combinations of his name, in different signature, on the [sic]
his full name is EUGENIO (first given name) JUAN (second given name) different occasions, Gonzalez had also violated Republic Act No. 6085
GONZALEZ (fathers family name) y REGALADO (mothers family (the Anti-Alias Law). Limson, in said letter complaint of September 25,
name). He alleges that in his youth, while he was still in grade school and 2000, suppressed from the Secretary of Justice, the extant before-
high school, he used the name EUGENIO GONZALEZ y REGALADO mentioned Resolutions, already decreed and adverse to her.

Page 13 of 17
The Secretary of Justice referred this letter complaint of Limson x x x to Moreover, there was no showing that a copy of the petition was furnished
the Prosecutors Office of Mandaluyong City for investigation. the Prosecution Office concerned pursuant to Section 5 of said
Department Circular.2
This new investigation was docketed as I.S. No. 01-44001-B and
assigned to Honorable Susante J. Tobias x x x. Although Limson sought the reconsideration of the adverse resolution of
April 3, 2002, the Secretary of Justice denied her motion for
After submission of Affidavits, Counter-Affidavits and other pertinent reconsideration on October 15, 2002.
pleadings, and evidences [sic], by the respective parties, before the
Prosecutor, the Prosecutor rendered a Resolution, dismissing the new Decision of the CA
complaint x x x which Resolution reads as follows:
Limson assailed on certiorari the adverse resolutions of the Secretary of
After a careful evaluation of the letter complaint of Revelina Limson Justice in the CA, claiming that the Secretary of Justice had thereby
dated September 25, 2000 addressed to the Secretary of Justice and committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
endorsed to this Office x x x and the evidence adduced by the contending jurisdiction for misappreciating her evidence establishing her charges of
parties, we find the issues raised in the aforesaid letter to be a rehashed falsification and violation of the Anti-Alias Law against respondent.
(sic) of a previous complaint filed by the same complainant which has
already been long resolved with finality by this Office and the Department On July 31, 2003, the CA promulgated its assailed decision dismissing
of Justice more particularly under I.S. No. 97-11929. the petition for certiorari, disposing as follows:

WHEREFORE, it is most respectfully recommended that the instant case WHEREFORE, in light of the foregoing discussions, the instant Petition is
be considered closed and dismissed. perforce DENIED. Accordingly, the Resolutions subject of this petition are
AFFIRMED.
Not content with said Resolution x x x, Limson filed a motion for
reconsideration; [sic]which was again opposed by Gonzalez and which SO ORDERED.3
was denied by the Prosecutor x x x.
On January 30, 2004, the CA denied Limsons motion for
Not agreeable to said Resolution x x x, Limson filed a Petition for Review reconsideration.
with the Secretary of Justice x x x, to which x x x Gonzalez filed an
Answer/Opposition x x x. Issues

The Secretary of Justice denied said Petition for Review of Limson, on In her petition for review, Limson avers the following errors, namely:
April 3, 2002 x x x as follows:
I
Section 12, in relation to Section 7, of Department Circular No. 70 dated
July 3, 2000, provides that the Secretary of Justice may, motu propio,
THE FINDINGS OF FACT OF THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS
dismiss outright the petition if there is no showing of any reversible error
DO NOT CONFORM TO THE EVIDENCE ON RECORD. MOREOVER,
in the assailed resolution or when issued [sic] raised therein are too
THERE WAS A MISAPPRECIATION AND/OR MISAPPREHENSION OF
unsubstantial to require consideration. We carefully examined the petition
FACTS AND THE HONORABLE COURT FAILED TO NOTICE CERTAIN
and its attachments and we found no such error committed by the
RELEVANT POINTS WHICH IF CONSIDERED WOULD JUSTIFY A
prosecutor that would justify the reversal of the assailed resolution which
DIFFERENT CONCLUSION
is in accord with the evidence and law on the matter.
Page 14 of 17
II which must be distinctly set forth. Accordingly, the petition for review of
Limson is outrightly rejected for this reason.
THE CONCLUSION OF THE COURT OF APPEALS IS A FINDING
BASED ON SPECULATION AND/OR SURMISE AND THE Secondly, Limson appears to stress that the CA erred in concluding that
INFERENCES MADE WERE MANIFESTLY MISTAKEN.4 the Secretary of Justice did not commit grave abuse of discretion in the
appreciation of the evidence submitted to the OCP. She would now have
Limson insists that the names "Eugenio Gonzalez" and "Eugenio Juan us reverse the CA.
Gonzalez y Regalado" did not refer to one and the same individual; and
that respondent was not a registered architect contrary to his claim. We cannot reverse the CA. We find that the conclusion of the CA about
According to her, there were material discrepancies between the the Secretary of Justice not committing grave abuse of discretion was
graduation photograph of respondent taken in 1941 when he earned his fully warranted. Based on the antecedents earlier rendered here, Limson
degree in Architecture from the University of Sto. Tomas, Manila, 5 and did not persuasively demonstrate to the CA how the Secretary of Justice
another photograph of him taken for his drivers license in 1996, 6 arguing had been gravely wrong in upholding the dismissal by the OCP of her
that the person in the latter photograph was not the same individual charges against respondent. In contrast, the assailed resolutions of the
depicted in the 1941 photograph. She submits documents showing that Secretary of Justice were quite exhaustive in their exposition of the
respondent used aliases from birth, and passed himself off as such reasons for the dismissal of the charges. And, even assuming that the
persons when in fact he was not. She prays that the decision of the CA Secretary of Justice thereby erred, she should have shown to the CA that
be set aside, and that the proper criminal cases for falsification of public either arbitrariness or capriciousness or whimsicality had tainted the
document and illegal use of alias be filed against respondent error. Yet, she tendered no such showing. She should be reminded,
indeed, that grave abuse of discretion meant either that the judicial or
In his comment,7 respondent counters that the petition for review should quasi-judicial power was exercised by the Secretary of Justice in an
be denied due course for presenting only factual issues; that the factual arbitrary or despotic manner by reason of passion or personal hostility, or
findings of the OCP, the Secretary of Justice, and the CA should remain that the Secretary of Justice evaded a positive duty, or virtually refused to
undisturbed; that he did not commit any falsification; that he did not use perform the duty enjoined or to act in contemplation of law, such as when
any aliases; that his use of conflicting names was the product of the Secretary of Justice, while exercising judicial or quasi-judicial powers,
erroneous entry, inadvertence, and innocent mistake on the part of other acted in a capricious or whimsical manner as to be equivalent to lack of
people; that Limson was motivated by malice and ill will, and her charges jurisdiction.8
were the product of prevarication; and that he was a distinguished
architect and a respected member of the community and society. Thirdly, the discrepancy between photographs supposedly taken in 1941
and in 1996 of respondent did not support Limsons allegation of grave
Ruling of the Court abuse of discretion on the part of the Secretary of Justice. It is really
absurd to expect respondent, the individual depicted on the photographs,
The appeal has no merit. to look the same after 55 long years.

To start with, the petition for review of Limson projects issues of fact. It And, fourthly, on the issue of the alleged use of illegal aliases, the Court
urges the Court to undo the findings of fact of the OCP, the Secretary of observes that respondents aliases involved the names "Eugenio
Justice and the CA on the basis of the documents submitted with her Gonzalez", "Eugenio Gonzales", "Eugenio Juan Gonzalez", "Eugenio
petition. But the Court is not a trier of facts, and cannot analyze and Juan Gonzalez y Regalado", "Eugenio C.R. Gonzalez", "Eugenio J.
weigh evidence. Indeed, Section 1 of Rule 45, Rules of Court explicitly Gonzalez", and per Limson "Eugenio Juan Robles Gonzalez." But
requires the petition for review on certiorari to raise only questions of law, these names contained his true names, albeit at times joined with an
erroneous middle or second name, or a misspelled family name in one

Page 15 of 17
instance. The records disclose that the erroneous middle or second Section 1. Except as a pseudonym for literary purposes, no person shall
names, or the misspelling of the family name resulted from error or use any name different from the one with which he was christened or by
inadvertence left unchecked and unrectified over time. What is which he has been known since his childhood, or such substitute name
significant, however, is that such names were not fictitious names within as may have been authorized by a competent court. The name shall
the purview of the Anti-Alias Law; and that such names were not different comprise the patronymic name and one or two surnames.
from each other. Considering that he was not also shown to have used
the names for unscrupulous purposes, or to deceive or confuse the Section 2. Any person desiring to use an alias or aliases shall apply for
public, the dismissal of the charge against him was justified in fact and in authority therefor in proceedings like those legally provided to obtain
law. judicial authority for a change of name. Separate proceedings shall be
had for each alias, and each new petition shall set forth the original name
An alias is a name or names used by a person or intended to be used by and the alias or aliases for the use of which judicial authority has been
him publicly and habitually, usually in business transactions, in addition to obtained, specifying the proceedings and the date on which such
the real name by which he was registered at birth or baptized the first authority was granted. Judicial authorities for the use of aliases shall be
time, or to the substitute name authorized by a competent authority; a recorded in the proper civil register x x x.
mans name is simply the sound or sounds by which he is commonly
designated by his fellows and by which they distinguish him, but The above law was subsequently amended by R. A. No. 6085, approved
sometimes a man is known by several different names and these are on 4 August 1969. As amended, C.A. No. 142 now reads:
known as aliases.9 An alias is thus a name that is different from the
individuals true name, and does not refer to a name that is not different Section 1. Except as a pseudonym solely for literary, cinema, television,
from his true name. radio or other entertainment purposes and in athletic events where the
use of pseudonym is a normally accepted practice, no person shall use
In Ursua v. Court of Appeals,10 the Court tendered an enlightening any name different from the one with which he was registered at birth in
discourse on the history and objective of our law on aliases that is worth the office of the local civil registry or with which he was baptized for the
including here, viz: first time, or in case of an alien, with which he was registered in the
bureau of immigration upon entry; or such substitute name as may have
Time and again we have decreed that statutes are to be construed in the been authorized by a competent court: Provided, That persons whose
light of the purposes to be achieved and the evils sought to be births have not been registered in any local civil registry and who have
remedied. Thus in construing a statute the reason for its enactment
1wphi1 not been baptized, have one year from the approval of this act within
should be kept in mind and the statute should be construed with which to register their names in the civil registry of their residence. The
reference to the intended scope and purpose. The court may consider name shall comprise the patronymic name and one or two surnames.
the spirit and reason of the statute, where a literal meaning would lead to
absurdity, contradiction, injustice, or would defeat the clear purpose of Sec. 2. Any person desiring to use an alias shall apply for authority
the lawmakers. therefor in proceedings like those legally provided to obtain judicial
authority for a change of name and no person shall be allowed to secure
For a clear understanding of the purpose of C.A. No. 142 as amended, such judicial authority for more than one alias. The petition for an alias
which was allegedly violated by petitioner, and the surrounding shall set forth the persons baptismal and family name and the name
circumstances under which the law was enacted, the pertinent provisions recorded in the civil registry, if different, his immigrants name, if an alien,
thereof, its amendments and related statutes are herein cited. C.A. and his pseudonym, if he has such names other than his original or real
No.142, which was approved on 7 November 1936, and before its name, specifying the reason or reasons for the desired alias. The judicial
amendment by R. A. No. 6085, is entitled An Act to Regulate the Use of authority for the use of alias, the Christian name and the alien
Aliases. It provides as follows: immigrants name shall be recorded in the proper local civil registry, and

Page 16 of 17
no person shall use any name or names other than his original or real confusion. That he is known in his business, as manager of the Robert
1wphi1

name unless the same is or are duly recorded in the proper local civil Reid, Inc., by the former name, is not sufficient reason to allow him its
registry. use. After all, petitioner admitted that he is known to his associates by
both names. In fact, the Anselmo Trinidad, Inc., of which he is a
The objective and purpose of C. A. No. 142 have their origin and basis in customer, knows him by his real name. Neither would the fact that he had
Act No. 3883, An Act to Regulate the Use in Business Transactions of encountered certain difficulties in his transactions with government
Names other than True Names, Prescribing the Duties of the Director of offices which required him to explain why he bore two names, justify the
the Bureau of Commerce And Industry in its Enforcement, Providing grant of his petition, for petitioner could easily avoid said difficulties by
Penalties for Violations thereof, and for other purposes, which was simply using and sticking only to his real name 'Yu Cheng Chiau.'
approved on 14 November 1931 and amended by Act No. 4147,
approved on 28 November 1934. The pertinent provisions of Act No. The fact that petitioner intends to reside permanently in the Philippines,
3883 as amended follow Section 1. It shall be unlawful for any person as shown by his having filed a petition for naturalization in Branch V of
to use or sign, on any written or printed receipt including receipt for tax or the abovementioned court, argues the more against the grant of his
business or any written or printed contract not verified by a notary public petition, because if naturalized as a Filipino citizen, there would then be
or on any written or printed evidence of any agreement or business no necessity for his further using said alias, as it would be contrary to the
transactions, any name used in connection with his business other than usual Filipino way and practice of using only one name in ordinary as well
his true name, or keep conspicuously exhibited in plain view in or at the as business transactions. And, as the lower court correctly observed, if
place where his business is conducted, if he is engaged in a business, he believes (after he is naturalized) that it would be better for him to write
any sign announcing a firm name or business name or style without first his name following the Occidental method, 'he can easily file a petition for
registering such other name, or such firm name, or business name or change of name, so that in lieu of the name 'Yu Kheng Chian,' he can,
style in the Bureau of Commerce together with his true name and that of abandoning the same, ask for authority to adopt the name 'Kheng Chiau
any other person having a joint or common interest with him in such Young.' (Emphasis and underscoring supplied)
contract agreement, business transaction, or business x x x.
WHEREFORE, the Court DENIES the petition for review on certiorari;
For a bit of history, the enactment of C.A. No. 142 as amended was AFFIRMS the decision promulgated on July 31, 2003; and ORDERS
made primarily to curb the common practice among the Chinese of petitioner to pay the costs of suit.
adopting scores of different names and aliases which created
tremendous confusion in the field of trade. Such a practice almost SO ORDERED.
bordered on the crime of using fictitious names which for obvious
reasons could not be successfully maintained against the Chinese
who, rightly or wrongly, claimed they possessed a thousand and
one names. CA. No. 142 thus penalized the act of using an alias
name, unless such alias was duly authorized by proper judicial
proceedings and recorded in the civil register.

In Yu Kheng Chiau v. Republic the Court had occasion to explain the


meaning, concept and ill effects of the use of an alias within the purview
of C.A. No. 142 when we ruled

There can hardly be any doubt that petitioners use of alias 'Kheng Chiau
Young' in addition to his real name 'Yu Cheng Chiau' would add to more

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