As the Philippine Consulate in New York reminds Filipinos to stay safe and remain vigilant due to the spate of anti-Asian hate and criminals since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Consul-General Elmer Cato said some Filipinos in New York remain scared of leaving their homes.
“May apprehension pa rin sa ating mga kababayan as a result of the recent surge in incidents ano, involving assaults, harassment, and others,” Cato said, noting there have been 34 incidents of anti-Asian hate crimes where Filipinos had been involved.
Cato also noted that the on-going self-defense webinars will continue in the coming weeks.
“Yung ginagawa ng ating konsulado dito, we’ve been holding webinars, in fact, last Monday we did one webinar, the third actually since last year, on self-defense and situational awareness,” he said.
“We plan to do more in the coming weeks para mabigyan ng, parang little bit of confidence itong ating mga kababayan when they go out of their houses already,” he added.
In a report by GMA News’ 24 Oras, the Philippine Consulate in New York’s office also placed several “Stop Asian Hate” posters while the Filipino and Asian community will hold a rally in Manhattan to condemn the attacks against the community.
Cato, meanwhile, “Kahit mahal, hindi na sila nagsa-subway nag-uuber na lang. Yung iba nagdadala na lang ng sasakyan kahit mahal yung parking dito sa city just to avoid getting in situations like that,” Cato said.
The webinars followed recent attacks on two Filipinos in New York, one was a 73-year-old Filipino beaten by a homeless individual while on his way to the church between 8th Avenue and 40th Street in Manhattan on March 27 while a 53-year-old Filipino was “beaten unconscious and robbed” by another homeless individual at a McDonald’s store on 7th Avenue near 34th Street.
“The Philippine Consulate General in New York condemns in the strongest terms the latest attacks against members of the Filipino Community after two more kababayan have been added to the growing list of victims of the senseless violence that has left many Filipinos in fear,” Cato said in a statement, calling on the authorities to “do more to make sure that New York City is safe again for everyone by removing dangerous individuals, especially those with criminal records, from the streets and addressing concerns related to homelessness and mental health”
In a report by New York-based Daily News, the 53-year-old man has been identified as Melvin Dizon who is now recuperating at the Bellevue Hospital while the NYPD Crime Stopper released the video of the incident and asked the public for information about the suspect.
In the interview, Dizon noted that “none of the store employees nor fellow customers came to his aid as his assailant knocked and kicked him on the ground.”
Meanwhile, responding policemen immediately arrested 44-year-old homeless man Dominick Staton after his assault on the 73-year-old Filipino.
In a report by The Philippine News Agency (PNA), Cato said the recent assaults follow the brutal attack against a 67-year-old Filipina in Yonkers, New York two weeks ago and bring to 34 the number of Anti-Asian hate incidents and criminal violence against Filipinos since 2021.
“Yung sa first incident involving the 73-year-old kababayan, he was saying he heard the suspect shout something but hindi niya maintindihan so, we could not say at this point if those were racial slurs,” Cato said.
The report also noted that the Philippine Consulate General, in 2022 alone, monitored seven incidents including the two latest attacks.