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Pinoy Abroad

Death of Filipino lawyer shot in US case of ‘mistaken identity’ – envoy

The death of Atty. John “Jal” Laylo, the Filipino lawyer who was shot while visiting relatives in the United States, may be a case of mistaken identity, Philippine Ambassador to the United States (US) Jose Manuel Romualdez said on Wednesday.

During the Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum, Romualdez said New York Consul General Elmer Cato is still following the case to ensure that justice is served for Laylo who was on board an Uber vehicle en route to an airport on June 19 when shot.

The victim was hit in the head and was placed on life support after he was pronounced brain-dead. He passed away on June 20 (Manila time) at the age of 35.

“The latest is I think they’ve already identified or I’m not sure if they’ve already apprehended the suspect, pero that was a case of mistaken identity,” Romualdez said.

Addressing the concerns on the Asian hate crimes in the US, Romualdez said their consulates are coordinating with the Filipino community to help them how they can protect themselves amid the still ongoing threat.

“We are always in touch with the authorities and every time there is a major issue, we immediately send a note to the US State Department to call their attention to it. Ang ating ASEAN ang ambassadors, sila rin ang mga Vietnamese, mga Thai, people from Brunei, are being targeted by the hate crimes,” he said.

Romualdez earlier called on law enforcers in the US to intensify their efforts on hate crimes after several Filipinos fell victim over the past months.

He said that COVID-19 has prompted several Americans to resort to hate crimes as many of them lost their jobs amid the pandemic. They also generalized the whole Asian community as coming from China where the first COVID-19 case was detected.—AOL, GMA News