MANILA, Sept 22 (Mabuhay) — Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte on Wednesday reminded the public not to let hate “overpower unity” as the world celebrated the United Nations International Day of Peace.

VP Sara Duterte (MNS photo)

In a recorded message, Duterte said it is the world’s moral obligation to end the threats to basic cultural rights.

“We cannot allow hate to poison our differences or allow it to overpower our unity as one community that respects each other’s ethnicity, culture, and religion,” she said.

Duterte stressed the sense of “universality” in fighting racism, considering the rising trend of hate crimes.

Based on the data from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, there has been a “moderate rise” in hate crimes in the first half of 2022.

Filipinos in New York City alone were warned by the Philippine Consulate in New York against the “increasing major crimes and transit crimes,” with hate crimes mounting by 13 percent.

With such figures, Duterte posed her strong stance on promoting group efforts to ensure “inclusive communities.”

“We should tap on our differences and ensure that every person can freely exercise their cultural rights and other fundamental rights recognized by international laws,” she said.

“I trust that Filipinos will support the campaign against racism in the spirit of unity, peace, and progress for our country,” she added. (MNS)