MANILA, Aug 16 (Mabuhay) — The Philippine Consulate General in New York has so far received at least 18 cases of hate crimes against Filipinos in 2021.

Consul General Elmer Cato said this on Sunday after two recent abuses against compatriots in the city.

“By now, we should have siguro mga 18 cases of anti-Asian incidents reported to the Consulate since the start of the year,” Cato said.

“These have taken place already in the United States pero dito sa New York mas prominente (in New York, it is more prominent),” he added.

In the past week, Filipino nurse Potri Ranka Manis suffered from bruises after distributing face masks to subway commuters while theater actor Miguel Braganza was mugged while on his way to his apartment. Both incidents happened in New York.

Meanwhile, Cato said these two cases are isolated cases that are happening in New York as gun violence incidents have been increasing amid the pandemic.

“‘Yung sinasabi natin dito, these are isolated cases — sporadic, unprovoked incidents — that take place in any city, any country, in the world where medyo mataas ang crime rate (where crime rate is a bit high),” he said.

“Hindi natin ma-pre-predict kung sino matatamaan (We can’t predict who will get hit),” he added.

After talking with the New York Police Department (NYPD), Cato said police are noting that anti-Asian hate crime incidents “died down” prior to the assault against Braganza. 

“‘Yung anti-Asian American Hate Crime desk ng NYPD sabi bumaba na so we were surprised that these cases happened (NYPD said hate crimes were already decreasing so we were surprised that these cases happened),” he said.

To prevent these rights abuses, the consular officer added that they reiterated their call to police to increase police visibility where there are inhabitants of Filipinos and other Asians.

The Philippine Consulate also earlier reminded Filipinos in New York “to always be vigilant, when outside their residences especially during the evenings, in view of the rising criminality and violence in the city.” (MNS)

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