Filipinos in the United States were advised to exercise “utmost caution” as the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. expressed concern over the rise in unprovoked attacks against Asian-Americans in various parts of the US.
American news organizations have reported a surge in anti-Asian slurs and violence in cities across the US, particularly among older people.
One of the recently reported attacks involved a Filipino, whose face was disfigured after a man slashed his face with a box cutter while inside a subway train in New York City.
“Filipinos are advised to exercise utmost caution in view of these incidents. Those who experience attacks are advised to immediately call 911 to report incidents,” the embassy said in a statement on Friday.
The embassy, nevertheless, thanked the swift action taken by a number of local authorities to apprehend perpetrators of the attacks, labeled by many as “hate crimes”.
However, it called on federal, state, and local authorities to further ensure the protection of persons of Asian descent, including Filipinos.
A coalition called Stop AAPI Hate said it received a total of 2,808 reported incidents of racism and discrimination targeting Asian-Americans across the US between Mar. 19, 2020 and Dec. 2020.
Chinese nationals made up the ethnic group most often targeted, making up 40.7 percent of incidents, according to its report released on Feb. 9.
“Asian-Americans as a whole, though, are being racially profiled and attacked. Koreans (15.1 percent); Vietnamese (8.2 percent) and Filipinos (7.2 percent) have also faced Covid-19 discrimination in high numbers,” it said.