Gerky seeks speedy passage of Senate’s identity theft bill PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 28 October 2010 15:21

Councilor Rogelio “Gerky” Valesco in a resolution yesterday voiced out his full support to Senator Manuel Villar’s bill, criminalizing the so-called identity theft in the country even as he called for its speedy approval by both houses of congress.

Valesco, who chairs the Committee on Foreign Relations in the City Council, said that the identity theft is in itself a form of fraud or cheating of another person’s identity in which someone pretends to be someone else by assuming that person’s identity, typically to gain access to or obtain credits and other benefits in that person’s name.

Valesco bewailed that the identity theft victims, meaning the persons whose identities or names have been fraudulently assumed by the identity thieves, could suffer adverse consequences, especially if they are held accountable for the thieves’ actions.

“The identity thieves could prey on anybody, let alone the minors, especially during these times when social networking has become the fastest form of communication. If we do not act now to address the issues and concerns brought about by this crime, then we will be opening the floodgates of more social problems in the future,” Valesco stressed.

According to him, there were many instances in the recent past where people had been duped by the so-called identity thieves. One of which was the case wherein somebody, who remains unknown to this time, is maintaining a facebook account in the name of Mayor Celso Lobregat.

Lobregat has repeatedly denied having a facebook account, saying that the facebook account bearing his name is not his and he has nothing to do with it, regardless of the content, views and opinions expressed in the account.

Another case, according to Valesco, was in Pampanga where a family lost to the identity theft the money sent by a relative abroad after the suspect had hacked the family’s email address.

“Identity theft can happen in the automated teller machine (ATM) cards, credit cards and other forms of technologically advanced transactions.

It can be recalled that Sen. Villar was pushing for the immediate enactment of a law that will address the growing concerns over the identify theft in the country, stressing that such has become a serious concern, “especially now that our society is becoming more and more dependent on online transactions.”

Villar has filed Senate Bill No. 1130 which defines “identity theft” as a crime committed when an individual with fraud, malice, ill will, intent to malign or with perversion, uses another’s relevant and sensitive personal information to take on that person’s identity.

Valesco shared the views of the senator that a law to deter identity theft should be a priority in the light of the growing number of identity theft victims, adding that the proposed measure will also protect the younger sector of the society, who uses social media sites such as Friendster, Facebook, Twitter, Multiply, etc., against the persons who steal identities on the internet.

If passed, the law will penalize violator by imprisonment of not less than six years but not more than 20 years, or a fine of P500,000 to P5 million.