Members of the Filipino community gathered in front of the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelon in Spain early this month to express alarm over rampant violent robberies in the city wherein an elderly Pinoy fell victim.
“Barcelona used to be a quiet and safe city when we first came here 16 years ago. But now, there are violent and intimidating robberies everywhere even in broad daylight. We have to protect our fellow Filipinos,” said Virigilio Prieto, an officer of the Guardians Associations.
A video of a 73-year-old Filipino who fell victim to robbers went viral among Filipinos in Barcelona. Two robbers violently lunged at the victim while he and his wife were on their way to a morning medical appointment. One of the robbers held him by the neck and snatched his watch.
According to a report from El Pais Spanish newspaper, the number of crimes in Barcelona rose in early 2018, underscoring theft as one of the city’s main problems. Violent robberies have increased by 19.4% with an average of 33 occurring each day, the majority of which took place in Ciutat Vella District, particularly the Raval neighborhood, where many Filipinos reside.
“We, the Filipinos from Ciutat Vella, we say enough, enough of violence, enough of narcopisos. We do not allow these things to happen to our family,” said Filipino community leader Marc Malapitan.
Several other non-Filipino residents of Raval and representatives of voluntary citizens’ organization called ROAR (Residents Organization Against Robbery) showed solidarity by joining the gathering.