Angel Locsin (MNS photo)

MANILA, Apr 8 (Mabuhay) — Actress Angel Locsin is the latest celebrity to speak out against the growing cases of anti-Asian violence, saying, “Hate is a virus.”

Wearing a mask with the statement written on its front, Locsin wrote on Instagram a message addressed to “my fellow Filipinos and to everyone of Asian descent who are experiencing cowardly attacks and racial slurs.”

“I may not be the one experiencing this, but I stand with you,” she said.

“Anti-Asian racism or any acts of hate against a human being is like a virus that can easily spread anywhere if not stopped. So, no matter how frightening, stand and speak up against this pointless hatred—instead of shrugging it off—because this will not go away on its own. Let’s help each other,” Locsin wrote.

The “Iba ‘Yan” star’s statement came amid the uproar over the violent attack on a 65-year-old Filipino-American woman on a street near Times Square in New York, United States — the latest in an alarming increase of anti-Asian hate crimes in the country.

Video shows Fil-Am woman attacked on New York street

A New York City Police Department (NYPD) wanted poster of the alleged perpetrator in an assault attack on an Asian woman on March 29, 2021, is pictured outside an apartment building on Manhattan’s West 43rd Street in New York City, New York, U.S., March 30, 2021. Mike Segar, Reuters/File Photo

The man behind the assault has since been arrested.

“To the many Filipinos living abroad in the hopes of providing a better future for their loved ones, please stay safe,” Locsin said. “Look out for each other, maybe try to learn self defense, report to proper authorities. Fighting hate with hate and violence will never stop this vicious cycle.”

The New York incident involving the Filipino elderly was part of a surge in hate crimes reported against Asian Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Former US President Donald Trump often referred to the novel coronavirus as the “China virus” and the “China plague.”

Such crimes rose by 149% in 2020 in 16 major cities compared with 2019, according to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino. (MNS)

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