PH Consulate General in New York urges Filipino community to exercise vigilance

Philippine Consulate General in New York | AJPress file photo by Momar G. Visaya

THE Philippine Consulate General in New York has reiterated its call for the Filipino community to remain vigilant following two new reports of anti-Asian hate incidents this week.

In a statement posted on Facebook on Tuesday, August 31, the consular office in New York stressed: “The Consulate General again reminds kababayan to be vigilant especially when taking the subway.”

One of the incidents happened on Tuesday and involved an elderly Filipina who was pushed to the floor while on board the subway near Grand Avenue.

The other incident took place on August 29 and involved a Filipino theater actor who was spat at by an individual and subjected to racist remarks while on a subway train in Manhattan.

According to Consul General Elmer Cato, the elderly Filipina was taken to the hospital for treatment after the incident.

He also gave recognition to the Filipino nurse who came to the Filipina’s aid when she fell down the stairs in Queens.

“Our Good Samaritan stayed with her until police arrived and later provided us with details of what happened. He told us he could not control his tears on his way to work. ‘It could have been my mom,’ he said,” Cato recounted in a separate Facebook post.

The Consul General expressed hope that the United States Congress would take action against the anti-Asian hate incidents happening across the country.

“We hope that before another violent incident involving elderly Filipinos or Asian-Americans happens again, the billions of dollars that Senator Chuck Schumer (D-New York) said the United States Congress would be releasing to address mental health concerns would be available soon,” Cato said.

“This would be one effective way to address the surge in hate crimes in New York City,” he noted.

Cato further renewed his call for the Filipino community to exercise vigilance when outside their residences.

“While we understand authorities are doing their best to ensure the safety of the public, we also know they cannot prevent a similar incident from happening again. No one knows when and where the next incident will be taking place,” he said.

“This is the reason why we urge kababayan to always be vigilant especially when outside their residences and when taking public transport,” he added.

Cato also urged Filipinos to report similar hate incidents to the Consulate.

Kababayan who know of any other similar incidents are requested to inform us here at the Consulate so we could put together and analyze the data and share our findings with the Filipino Community,” he said.

Stop AAPI Hate, a national coalition that tracks hate and discrimination, said it received 9,081 hate incidents against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) from March 19, 2020 to June 31, 2021.

Of the total figure, 4,548 incidents occurred in 2020, while 4,533 took place in the first six months of 2021.

Stop AAPI hate also found that Filipinos are the third-highest group that experience hate incidents the most.

Ritchel Mendiola

Ritchel Mendiola is a staff writer and reporter for the Asian Journal. You can reach her at ritchel.mendiola@asianjournalinc.com.

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