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Advocacy group: Filipinos must be responsible digital citizens to protect themselves from cybercrime 

March 18, 2022 7:51 p.m.

FILIPINO consumers must become responsible digital citizens to protect themselves from internet-based crimes, and while there are existing laws against cybercrimes, the government and the private sector must work together to educate and empower the people against falling prey to cybercriminals, an advocacy group said.

“The pandemic has pushed most of us to shift our activities online,” said lawyer Tim Abejo, co-convenor of CitizenWatch Philippines. “We now do our banking, shopping, schooling, over the internet. We order food online and do our work from home. These have their benefits, of course, but they also carry great risk.”

 Abejo said that while these internet transactions result in convenience and efficiency, they also bring the danger of abuse and exploitation in many forms. “There are many who are out to take advantage of unsuspecting internet users. We have to make sure that our people arm themselves against these online predators.”

 During the pandemic period, the number of cyber tips received by the Department of Justice – Office of Cybercrime tripled to 1.2 million in 2020 from just 400,000 the previous year. Most common among internet crimes are fraud, sexual abuse and exploitation, bullying, and identity theft.

 Targeting the vulnerable

 Abejo cited the UNICEF finding that prolonged lockdowns have made children and young people more vulnerable because these resulted in extended hours online.

 “For two years now, they cannot go out to play or go to school or to meet their friends,” said Abejo.

 “Instead, they are constantly online to study, play or socialize. This provides predators the opportunity to manipulate them for their own gains.”

 Meanwhile, the public has also seen a rise in incidents of hacking of online bank accounts.

“Sure, there have been arrests. But these people are always one step ahead and they are bound to come up with newer, more sophisticated ways to launch cyber-attacks,” Abejo said.

 The Bankers Association of the Philippines said more than P1 billion was lost last year due to cyber fraud.

 “These criminals are so ingenious,” Abejo said. “They dupe people into disclosing sensitive information through innocent- or legitimate-looking emails, text messages, or even social media posts.”

 He said that ransomware is becoming more prevalent in the Philippines, where malicious software – malware – gains access to a computer system, which would become inaccessible unless the user pays ransom.

 Laws and public private partnerships

 “To be sure, there is no dearth of laws protecting the public from cybercrimes,” Abejo said.

 “The laws range from the broader Cybercrime Prevention Act to data privacy, to preventing online sexual abuse and exploitation, to those protecting the integrity of electronic transactions or strengthening financial literacy for consumers in the digital economy,” he said, citing that the real challenge is making the people aware that these laws do exist and enforcing them in this context.

 Abejo proposed that, “Government should incentivize private initiatives to engage the education sector such as the Digital Thumbprint Program of digital solutions company Globe in partnership with the Department of Education that has integrated into the curriculum the training of young students to be knowledgeable in cybersecurity and responsible digital citizenship.”

 “More public private engagements in digitally powered interventions can give free online access to workshop modules to arm people with the knowledge and attitude to responsibly and safely navigate the internet,” Abejo added.

 A common concern

 According to Abejo, empowering Filipinos to be aware of and fight online risks is a collective effort that must be undertaken by the government, the private sector, civil society, and the education sector.

 “Specifically, telcos and ISPs should partner with the government to engage in an aggressive and sustained education program to raise awareness of online dangers,” Abejo said.

 “Technology is good because it allows societies to be productive and innovative, and reach their potential,” he said. “We must manage the inherent risks and learn how to protect ourselves against those who think they can use the internet to advance their criminal interests.”

 “As we are now in a highly digital world, we must choose leaders who can be digital transformation champions to address digital readiness gaps that can delay our recovery from the pandemic crisis,” Abejo said.

NEWS

Atayde backs PH Olympic fencer, QC fencing development program

4:11 p.m. May 21, 2024

QUEZON City 1st District Rep. Juan Carlos “Arjo” Atayde last week pledged to back QCSEP, a Quezon City fencing program responsible for producing one of the Filipino athletes going to the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

Atayde, a member of the Youth Sports Development Committee in the House of Representatives, said “fencing is one of the many sports that young Filipino athletes can excel in, and we are working with Councilor Joseph Juico so that we can help QCSEP better develop Filipino fencers who can compete not only in local tournaments, but also in international competitions.”

Atayde commended QCSEP for producing a Filipino fencer slated to represent the country in the 2024 Paris Olympics — 22-year-old Barangay Del Monte resident Samantha Kyle Catantan.  

Catantan qualified for the Paris Olympics after winning the gold in the women’s foil event at the Asia-Oceania Zonal Olympic Qualifier last July in the United Arab Emirates. She is the first Filipino fencer to qualify for the summer games since Walter Torres in 1988. 

“QCSEP deserves credit for developing world-class fencers like our very own Samantha Catantan,” said Atayde. “Her qualifying for the Olympics is proof that we should invest time and resources in fencing, which is why we plan to provide support for this sport in our district, and later on the entire Quezon City.”

Atayde stressed that support for sports programs is necessary “if we want to help Filipino athletes achieve their dreams of competing in the Olympics.”

Atayde met Juico, the young fencers of QCSEP, and their parents on May 17 at the legislator’s district office in West Avenue, Quezon City to discuss ways to help and to develop fencers not only from their district, but also cities from all over Metro Manila. 

“It’s great to know that there’s a grassroots sports program for fencing in Quezon City that develops and nurtures kids from all over Metro Manila. With enough helping hands, QCSEP can produce fencers who can excel in the sport and one day win a medal for our country in the Olympics,” said Atayde, who extended financial support for the team’s ongoing programs.

QCSEP Fencing is a program spearheaded by longtime QC 1st District Councilor Juico. It was established 18 years ago and is an active advocate of grassroots sports development.

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Activision brings Call of Duty Warzone Mobile to the court with unique basketball collaboration

5:09 p.m. May 19, 2024

Activision has made an exciting move with its latest Call of Duty Warzone Mobile campaign, seamlessly integrating the world of basketball to create real connections within the community. By combining the strategic elements of basketball with the intense gameplay of Warzone Mobile, Activision highlights how teamwork and quick thinking dominate in both arenas.

In a creative collaboration with Jappy Agoncillo, a renowned muralist, illustrator, and devoted COD fan, Activision has transformed a basketball court at SV Ball Park in New Manila, Quezon City into a vibrant, Warzone-themed masterpiece. This unique project not only showcases Agoncillo’s artistic talent but also underscores the synergy between the worlds of basketball and gaming.

For a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the CODWZM Basketball Court Takeover, check out this video.

Filipinos’ passion for basketball is well-known, with the sport deeply ingrained in the nation’s culture. This collaboration taps into that love, creating a space where fans of both basketball and Call of Duty can come together. Watch how PBA Moto Club, Eruption, Jappy Agoncillo, and Honeycomb Arts brought this project to life in this special feature

Visit the Court:

  • Location: SV Ball Park, New Manila, Quezon City
  • Visiting Hours: Fridays through Sundays from 1 PM to 5 PM
  • Duration: May 16 to July 1, 2024

Basketball and Call of Duty Warzone enthusiasts are invited to experience this one-of-a-kind court, which will be open to the public during the above specified hours to ensure better accommodation and avoid overlapping with regular league games.

Visitors can enjoy the artwork, play basketball, and immerse themselves in the dynamic atmosphere that brings Warzone Mobile’s intensity to life.

Don’t miss out on this exciting blend of art, sports, and gaming. Swing by SV Ball Park and be part of

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“Priceless” Nino Muhlach FAMAS trophy sold to Boss Toyo 

12:59 p.m. May 15, 2024

Entrepreneur and child actor Nino Muhlach gave Boss Toyo one of his prized awards from the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS) in exchange for P500,000.

But Boss Toyo reiterated that Muhlach’s award is “priceless” and will become part of his future museum. 

In an episode of Pinoy Pawnstars last Monday, Boss Toyo haggled with Muhlach, who personally visited the content creator’s shop in Quezon City to personally give one of his five FAMAS awards and make it as part of his collection.

“Aalagaan mo ‘yan, irerestore mo yan [Take care of that, restore it],” Muhlach told Boss Toyo. 

Boss Toyo said that he wants to restore the award, one of Muhlach’s five FAMAS awards to its former glory and showcase it in his planned museum alongside the award that Jiro Manio sold to Boss Toyo a few months ago. 

Muhlach said that it was Toyo who personally inquired about the award and decided to sell to the content creator one of the five Best Child Performer awards that he received in his career. 

“I decided to give it to him, pero big deal, kailangan alagaan niya and irestore niya and ilagay niya sa museum niya, dahil hindi ko na naalagaan, ‘yun ang deal namin [I decided to give it to him, but big deal because he needs to take care of it seriously, restore it and put it in his museum because I never take care of it. That’s our deal],” Muhlach said.

Boss Toyo said that Nino Muhlach’s FAMAS award is one of his dream items as he wants to note how Muhlach changed Filipino entertainment through his movies with noted Filipino actors such as the King of Filipino movies and legends such as Fernando Poe Jr. and Dolphy. 

“Ikaw ang barometer, ‘pag sinabing ‘child actor’, tandaan natin, wala pa akong nakitang nakadaig sayo as a child actor [You are the barometer of a ‘child actor’ because we have to remember nobody does it better than you],” Toyo said. 

Apart from the award, Muhlach gave to Boss Toyo some of the theater lobby cards from the movies he starred in and produced. 

Aside from acting, Muhlach also dabbled in several businesses, including the El Nino Apartments and Muhlach Ensaymada, which was gifted to Boss Toyo.

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