Racist attack on Filipino in New York City will ‘influence PH foreign policy’ – Locsin
MANILA, Philippines — The latest attack on a Filipino in New York City has enraged the Philippine government, which says it will “influence” Philippine foreign policy as the number of anti-Asian hate crimes in the United States rises.
The attack, which took place on a sidewalk in broad daylight in Midtown Manhattan on Monday with bystanders seemingly looking on without intervening, was caught on closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage from inside an adjacent building.
In the video, posted online by police, the man can be seen walking up to the 65-year-old Filipino woman and kicking her in the stomach, knocking her to the ground. He then kicks her several times in the head before walking away yelling, “You don’t belong here.”
Nobody helped her
The video also shows a man, who appears to be a delivery worker, watching the attack unfold from inside the building.
He is then joined by two other men, one of whom closes the door rather than coming to the woman’s aid as the assailant walks away.
The Washington Post, quoting a police statement, reported that the attacker was arrested later Tuesday.
The Post identified the suspect as Brandon Elliot, 38, and said he was already on lifetime parole for murdering his mother.
Reuters, which reported the Post story, said it couldn’t independently confirm the identity of the suspect.
The victim, whose identity has not been released, was hospitalized with multiple injuries, including a broken pelvis.
She was in stable condition on Tuesday, police said.
“This is gravely noted and will influence Philippine foreign policy,” Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. tweeted on Wednesday. “I might as well say it, so no one on the other side can say, ‘We didn’t know you took racial brutality against Filipinos at all seriously.’ We do.”
In another tweet, Locsin said he was enraged by the attack on the Filipino woman.
“That’s not heartbreaking. That’s enraging. And what goes around and kicks a lot will come around and get kicked back a lot,” he said.
In still another tweet, Locsin said the answer to racism “has to be police/military, not understanding.”
“Racists understand only force,” he added.
Shaken, but all right
Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez said the Philippine Consulate in New York was in touch with the victim.
“She’s badly shaken, but all right so far,” Romualdez said in a text message on Wednesday.
He said the Philippine Embassy and other Southeast Asian missions had expressed to the White House their “strongest concern” over rising anti-Asian violence in the United States.
“We have already communicated strong concern to the White House about these hate crimes. We have banded together with our [Southeast Asian] brothers to express the same serious concern,” he said.
New York and other US cities have seen an upsurge in crimes against people of Asian descent since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, with activists attributing the rise to former president Donald Trump’s repeated references to COVID-19 as the “Chinese virus.”
“Since a lot of our fellow Filipinos here have Chinese ancestry, they were taken advantage of,” Romualdez said in earlier interview.
In February, 61-year-old Filipino Noel Quintana was slashed across the face with a box cutter on a New York City subway train. The assailant fled, leaving him bleeding.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the violence was becoming “an epidemic” across the country that “must stop now.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called on anyone who witnesses an attack to “literally shout” to disturb the aggressor and attract attention.
Earlier this month, six women of Asian descent were killed when a shooter attacked three Asian-owned spas in Atlanta.
The NYPD has stepped up its presence in neighborhoods with high Asian immigrant populations while volunteer groups have formed safety patrols.
Several demonstrations expressing solidarity with Asian American communities have also taken place. They have been attended by New York mayoral candidates and Rev. Al Sharpton, the influential Black rights activist.
New York has more than 1 million inhabitants of Asian descent.
In the week of March 15 to 21, police recorded a total of nine hate crimes, up from three during the same period in 2020.
—WITH REPORTS FROM AFP AND REUTERS
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