MANILA – The Philippine Consulate General in New York has joined the Asian community in calling an end to the increasing hate crimes against Asians across the United States, the latest of which was the brutal assault of a 65-year-old Filipina in Manhattan.
“We take this opportunity to thank the New York Police District and its Asian Hate Crime Task Force for their dedication to their work and their quick action in apprehending Elliot,” Philippine Consul General Elmer Cato said in a statement read at the rally.
Cato was referring to Brandon Elliot, a 38-year-old convict out on parole for killing his mother, who was charged with assault and hate crime offenses for kicking and stomping on Filipina Vilma Kari’s face while yelling anti-Asian slurs at her last March 29.
The support was reiterated during a rally organized by the Chinese-American Citizens Alliance of Greater New York outside the Manhattan criminal court on April 5 to demand justice for Kari.
“Today, Brandon Elliot will appear in this Criminal Court, and to him we say Vilma belongs here, Asians in New York belong here, everyone belongs here,” Cato said.
“I can see in Vilma the face of my own mother and other elderly Asian women living in New York, who, due to the recent spate of violence against Asians, would not even want to leave the safety of their homes anymore for fear that they, too, would be violently assaulted,” he added.
Aside from Kari, another Filipino immigrant, 61-year-old Noel Quintana got his face slashed after he was attacked with a box cutter while riding the subway on his way to work in Manhattan a few weeks ago.
“These cases hit close to home, since we, Asians, revere our elders. It is part of our DNA to look after our elderly. This is why Elliot’s violent attack on Vilma had been particularly distressing to all of us,” Cato said.
“But contrary to what Elliot said, Vilma and the rest of the Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Community belong here. Our community contributes significantly to the greatness of this city,” he added.
There are about 2.4 million AAPI residents in the New York City Metro Area alone, the largest in the US, contributing more than USD6.2 billion in state and local tax revenues, Cato said.
He added that Filipino nurses continue to man the frontline in the city’s fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Citing data from the National Nurses United, Cato said 4 percent of nurses in the United States and about 30 percent of the almost 200 registered nurses who died from Covid-19 are Filipinos.
“Twenty-five percent of Filipinos in New York work in the healthcare industry. It is, thus, ironic for Elliot to insist that Vilma and the AAPI community she belongs to do not belong here,” he said.
“As we pray for an end to hate, racism, and discrimination, we urge everyone not to shut their doors to victims of hate crimes like Vilma,” he added.
Cato urged all Filipino hate crime victims to get in touch with the PCG as well as immediately report incidents to 911 or the Crime Stoppers hotline of the New York City Police Department. (PNA)