Vice President Leni Robredo condemned Monday a series of hate crimes against Asians in the United States amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement, the Vice President described the attacks as an "appalling turn of events", adding that she is hopeful US President Joe Biden will ensure the safety of all Asians and minority groups.
"At a time when the world should come together in solidarity against the greater threat of the pandemic, Asians, some of them Filipinos, have been singled out as targets of rage and racial hatred. This has contributed to a climate of growing fear in an atmosphere already made volatile by COVID-19," she said.
"Hatred has no place in any society that wishes to heal," she added.
There has been an increase in hate crimes reported against Asian Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic. Former President Donald Trump often referred to the 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.
Concern over anti-Asian hate crimes was heightened when six Asian women were among eight people fatally shot this month at Atlanta-area spas. A 21-year-old man was charged with the murders. Police have yet to determine a motive.
Last week a man was caught on video violently attacking a Filipino-American woman as bystanders seemingly looked on without intervening, the latest incident of anti-Asian violence in the United States.
The attack, which took place on a sidewalk in broad daylight in Midtown Manhattan on Monday, was caught on CCTV from inside an adjacent building.
Through multiple tips from the community, the alleged attacker was identified as 38-year old Brandon Elliot, a former convict on lifetime parole.
He was arrested at a homeless shelter and charged with attempted assault as a hate crime and felony assault as a hate crime.
Elliot has two prior arrests for the murder of his own mother in 2002 and a robbery in 2000.
In a statement, the NYPD said the attacker "made anti-Asian statements" towards the victim as he kicked her. It added that the hate crime task force is investigating the assault
President Joe Biden's administration has announced a set of measures responding to anti-Asian violence in the United States, including deploying $49.5 million from COVID-19 relief funds for U.S. community programs that help victims.
In Monday's attack in New York, a security video showed witnesses inside the lobby of a building apparently watching the assault but making no effort to help the woman. One man closed the front door while the attacker walked away. With a report from Reuters