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The Crime Of Usurpation Of Authority

Pretending to be a person of authority is a serious crime punishable by law. One instance that makes you liable for a crime of usurpation of authority is when you pretend to represent a department or agency of the Philippine government. A person was once imprisoned for pretending to be a member of the Philippine National Police (PNP). He was asked which division he was assigned and when the police authorities verified the veracity of the information, it was discovered that the man was not a member of PNP. Aside from usurpation of authority, rank and title, improper use of uniforms, names and insignia will hold you criminally liable as well. 

Sec. One. — Usurpation of authority, rank, title, and improper use of names, uniforms and insignia.

Art. 177. Usurpation of authority or official functions. — Any person who shall knowingly and falsely represent himself to be an officer, agent or representative of any department or agency of the Philippine Government or of any foreign government, or who, under pretense of official position, shall perform any act pertaining to any person in authority or public officer of the Philippine Government or any foreign government, or any agency thereof, without being lawfully entitled to do so, shall suffer the penalty of prision correccional in its minimum and medium periods.

Art. 178. Using fictitious name and concealing true name. — The penalty of arresto mayor and a fine not to exceed 500 pesos shall be imposed upon any person who shall publicly use a fictitious name for the purpose of concealing a crime, evading the execution of a judgment or causing damage.

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.

Art. 179. Illegal use of uniforms or insignia. — The penalty of arresto mayor shall be imposed upon any person who shall publicly and improperly make use of insignia, uniforms or dress pertaining to an office not held by such person or to a class of persons of which he is not a member.