A Filipino consular officer in New York was the latest victim in a series of hate crimes against Asians in the United States after she was verbally assaulted on her way to work last Friday.
Consul General Elmer Cato said the victim was approached as soon as she stepped on board the train.
“Where’d you come from? Where’d you come from? We don’t need you here!
We don’t need you here! F— you! I hope you all die and everybody on this train!” Cato posted in his Facebook account, quoting the suspect.
In Manila, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson backed calls for increased police presence to avert further incidents of anti-Asian hate crimes in the United States, stressing this was disturbing.
He supported Cato's calls for increased police presence especially in the subways; and for Filipinos to report hate crimes to the Consulate or via 911 if they witness or become victims themselves of such crimes
"Based on accounts initially cited by Consul General to New York Elmer Cato, there have been at least 14 hate incidents involving members of the Filipino community so far this year, counting the latest incident,"said Lacson, adding this should be stopped.
Cato admitted that the incident has been reported to the New York City Police Department.
The Consul General expressed apprehension over the incident as he cited previous hate attacks against Filipinos in the area.
“We are deeply disturbed by this incident which came a few days after a member of the Filipino Community sustained injuries after he was violently assaulted in a subway platform in New York City,” he bewailed. (See full story online at manilastandard.net)
“A few months ago, a kababayan got his face slashed in a hate-crime incident also in the subway,” he said.
The embassy official noted that this was the 14th hate attack against a member of the Filipino community that was reported to the Consulate.
“We join the Asia-American and Pacific Islander Community in condemning these incidents and in expressing our serious concern for the safety of our kababayan and other Asian-Americans in New York City,” he said.
He urged the New York authorities to increase police presence especially in subways, and address the mental health concerns that affect 40% of the homeless individuals in New York.
The Department of Foreign Affairs reminded Filipinos in the United States to remain vigilant and report any hate crimes against theFilipino community.
US President Joe Biden had signed a hate crimes law intended to protect Asian Americans who have suffered a surge in attacks during the COVID-19 pandemic.
When Lacson headed the Philippine National Police from 1999 to 2001, he ordered an increase in police visibility, particularly foot patrols -- an action that helped decrease criminality, mainly due to the deterrent effect on criminals.
"Hate crimes and racism have no place anywhere. As Consul General Cato pointed out, the Filipino community can be part of the solution by reporting such incidents to the authorities for prompt action," said Lacson.
"This solution should be adopted by all Filipino communities abroad, not just in the US," added Lacson, chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs in the Commission on Appointments.
"The unlucky Filipina diplomat must have encountered a reincarnated barbaric tyrant in that train," Lacson said of the latest incident on his Twitter account.
But Cato also said a few days earlier, a member of the .Filipino community was assaulted and injured in a subway platform in New York City.
A few months back, another Filipino got his face slashed in another hate-crime incident in the subway.