Online Media Forum Held to

Discuss the Role of Mass Media in Peace-building

On September 17, 2020, Filipino journalists from various media outlets attended the online media forum hosted by the Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), an international peace NGO in consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

With the topic, “The Role of Mass Media in Peace-building,” 5 speakers discussed the vital role of the media in peace-building amidst the challenges that they are facing especially during this time of the pandemic and civil unrest.

“The role of the media is to share facts that will foster peace, just like how parents share truthful knowledge to their children, which builds trust and peace among the family,” said Theofel Santos from Radyo Veritas.

MJ Balaguer from Diaryong Tagalog also emphasized that dialogue, honesty, understanding, love, and respect are all essential for the press to pursue a “lasting and sustainable peace” not only in the Philippines but elsewhere in the world.

The participants also discussed the main challenges that they are facing in publishing timely and well-researched news in terms of financial stability, competition between media entities, and lack of legal protection to exercise freedom of speech. In the open discussion during the second session, they also discussed ways to address these challenges.

Junex Doronio, the former director and secretary of the National Press Club, encouraged mass media practitioners “to strive to be truthful to their calling, to report objectively, without fear or favor.” He stated that if journalists liberate themselves from “their own fears”, then mass media can help in achieving world peace.

At the end of the forum, all the journalists who attended agreed that responsible and factual journalism is essential for peace-building.

HWPL will be hosting another media forum entitled, “Our Attitude to Deal with the COVID-19 Pandemic in 2020” on September 26, 2020 which will be attended by journalists from Hongkong, Indonesia, Nepal, Taiwan, and the Philippines.

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PAGCOR reiterates public warning against illegal online gambling

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) once again strongly advises the public not to engage in any unauthorized gambling activities offered by unscrupulous individuals and groups.

PAGCOR’s public warning was made after the Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG) conducted a successful operation against an illegal online bingo operator recently. Said operator was just one of several illegal gambling operations, which were under surveillance and case monitoring.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic started early this year, PAGCOR has received an increase in reports on illegal online gambling being promoted through social media platforms like Facebook.

To further strengthen the fight against unauthorized gambling activities, the state run -gaming regulator will ask for the assistance of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) to conduct investigation on banks, remittance services, and payment solutions used as fund conduits for these illegal operations.

While illegal gambling per se is not among the predicate crimes of Money Laundering, frauds and swindling are. These are based on the act of taking bets from the public by falsely representing that they have a legitimate business, when in fact, they have no such authority.

The country’s gaming regulator is likewise calling on Facebook to cooperate with PAGCOR and Philippine authorities to curtail fraudulent activities, which are promoted through their platform.

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