FILIPINOS and Filipino Americans should ‘exercise vigilance’ amid the reported attacks against Asian Americans, the Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles advised.
The Consulate General issued an advisory on March 15 expressing its “concern over the upsurge of reported incidents of aggression towards Asian Americans in various parts of the United States.”
The day after the statement was released, eight individuals, including 6 women of Asian descent, were killed during an attack on Atlanta-area spas.
Nearly 3,800 anti-Asian incidents have been reported in all 50 states and the District of Columbia since last March, according to new data from Stop AAPI Hate, a reporting center that tracks such incidents.
“In view of these incidents, Filipino and Filipino Americans are advised to exercise vigilance, take safety precautions, heed local government bulletins, and to carry emergency and medical contact details,” the Consulate General said.
The Consulate said that most of the reports within the community have been anecdotal and emphasized the importance of reporting any acts of hate and violence to local law enforcement or other entities that can help investigate and track.
“Otherwise, if everything goes unreported, it will just stay anecdotal and everything will fly under the radar,” acting Head of Post Ambrosio Brian F. Enciso III told the Asian Journal.
The Consulate along with the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. and other posts across the U.S., said it is calling on “federal, state and local authorities to further ensure the continued protection of persons of Asian descent, including Filipinos.”
Enciso added that though the Consulate operates as an extension of the Philippine government and does not have authority over local enforcement, it is ready to share resources for any Filipinos in Southern California and surrounding areas who may experience a hate crime or incident.
“We encourage members of the community to contact us, and this is with the knowledge that we will pass on the information. We are a representative of the Philippine government so we do not have law enforcement powers or capabilities here in the host country, but what we can do is point them in the right direction or give them advice,” Enciso said.
In addition to reporting to local agencies, Filipino nationals in distress can also contact the Consulate’s hotline at (213) 587-0758 or send an email to email@example.com.