Palace alarmed over hate crimes affecting Filipinos in US

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Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. announces during a press briefing at the New Executive Building (NEB) in Malacañang on January 8, 2018 that the Philippines has topped World Energy Council’s (WEC) World Energy Trilemma Index 2017 on environmental sustainability for the third consecutive year. YANCY LIM/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Malacañang on Thursday expressed alarm over the latest Stop Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Hate report that showed Filipinos ranked third among nationalities that experience the most number of hate incidents in the United States.

Nakakalungkot po iyan at nakaka-abala. Unang-una, halos lahat tayo, merong kamag-anak sa Amerika at ayaw nating maging biktima ang ating mga kababayan (That is saddening and alarming. First and foremost, most of us have relatives in America and we do not want our countrymen to be victims [of hate crimes],” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a virtual presser.

A total of 9,081 Asians has fallen victims to hate crimes in the US, according to the report released by Stop AAPI Hate on Aug. 12.

Around 9.1 percent or 826 Filipinos are Asian hate victims in the US, the report found.

The data covers all anti-Asian hate incidents from March 19, 2020 to June 2021, a majority of which took place outside of the home and in spaces often open to the public like public streets and businesses.

Roque said it is ironic that hate crimes against Asians continue to escalate in the US which has been dubbed as “land of immigrants.”

‘Yung mga kababayan natin, ‘yung mga kamag-anak natin, nagpunta sa Amerika kasi alam natin (Our fellow countrymen and relatives went to Amerika because we know that) what drives America is the hopes and aspirations ng mga immigrant (of the immigrants),” he said.

Roque remained optimistic that the anti-Asian hate incidents would stop.

Parang kapag pag-iinitan mo ‘yung mga immigrant, pinag-iinitan mo ‘yung kumbaga kaluluwa ng America mismo as the land of immigrants so sana po matigil na ito (If you attack immigrants, you also attack the America’s soul as the land of immigrants so we hope this will stop),” he said.

At least two Filipinos were assaulted in separate incidents this month, prompting renewed calls for the Filipino community to stay vigilant, especially when taking the subway.

On Aug. 7, Filipino stage actor Miguel Braganza was struck with a gun to the forehead by two individuals while on his way to his apartment in the Upper West Side.

Police said the attack against Braganza was a failed robbery attempt.

Filipino nurse Potri Ranka Manis on Aug. 10 was also assaulted while distributing face masks to fellow passengers on board the subway.

The two assailants were reportedly shouting racial slurs while Manis was being attacked.

Hate crimes and racism against Asians in the US have become rampant amid the prevailing coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

Elmer Cato, Philippine Consul General in New York, has called on the US authorities to take the necessary actions to punish those behind the violent acts against Asians

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