Lacson backs calls for increased police presence to protect Filipinos in US

Published June 13, 2021, 2:20 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson on Sunday said he supports calls for increased police visibility to prevent further incidents of anti-Asian hate related crimes committed against Filipinos in the United States.

Lacson made the call following the latest incident where a female Filipino consular officer was verbally assaulted by a man in New York.

The senator said he supports Consul General to New York Elmer Cato’s calls for increased police presence especially in the subways, and for Filipinos to report hate crimes to the Consulate or via 911 if they witness or if they become victims of such crimes.

The senator noted that based on accounts initially cited by the Consul there have been at least 14 hate incidents involving members of the Filipino community so far this year, counting the latest incident.

“This is disturbing and has to stop,” said Lacson, who chairs the Committee on Foreign Affairs in the Commission on Appointments (CA).

“Hate crimes and racism have no place anywhere. As Consul General Cato pointed out, the Filipino community can be part of the solution by reporting such incidents to the authorities for prompt action,” he pointed out.

“This solution should be adopted by all Filipino communities abroad, not just in the US,” he further stressed.

Lacson recalled that when he ordered an increase in police presence when headed the Philippine National Police from 1999 to 2001, the action helped decrease criminality, mainly due to the deterrent effect on criminals.

Cato had said the incident has been reported to the New York Police Department’s anti-Asian hate crime desk. A few days earlier, a similar incident also happened to another member of the Filipino community, saying the latter was assaulted and injured in a subway platform in New York City.

A few months back, another Filipino was slashed in his face in another anti-Asian hate crime incident in the subway.

“The unlucky Filipina diplomat must have encountered a reincarnated barbaric tyrant in that train,” Lacson said.

“Consul General Cato must urge the New York police to leave no stone unturned to identify and charge the person or persons responsible. There must be closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage available somewhere,” the senator stressed.