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PH urges US authorities: Ensure protection of Asian Americans amid surge in hate crimes

The Philippine government on Friday, February 25, urged US authorities to "ensure the protection" of Asian Americans, including Filipinos, amid the surge in hate crimes against members of the community during the pandemic.

In a statement on Friday, the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) expressed concern over the rise in attacks on Asian Americans in parts of the US.

“The Philippine embassy and Consulates General in the United States appreciate the swift action taken by a number of local authorities to apprehend perpetrators of these attacks. However, we call on federal, state, and local authorities to further ensure the protection of persons of Asian descent, including Filipinos,” the DFA said.

It advised Filipino Americans to “exercise utmost caution” following the incidents, and urged them to immediately report to the police if they get targeted.

In early February, a fellow subway passenger slashed the face of Filipino American Noel Quintana with a box cutter after the latter confronted him for kicking his bag, according to a report of the New York Daily News.

A viral video of 91-year-old Asian man being shoved to the ground from behind in Oakland on January 31 – one of 3 similar incidents that day, allegedly perpetrated by the same suspect – magnified the problem.

From March through December 2020, over 2,800 first-hand accounts of anti-Asian hate in the US were reported to Stop AAPI Hate, a coalition formed to document such incidents against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Based on the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey data for 2018, there are over 4 million Filipinos in the US, mostly in California. – with reports from Reuters/Rappler.com