Two suspects were arrested in New York City for allegedly attacking a Fil-Am mother and her son, an official of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Wednesday.
"Sasampahan ng kaso ng State at New York City itong dalawang nahuli," DFA Assistant Secretary Paul Raymund Cortes said in an interview on Unang Balita.
(The State [of New York] and New York City will file charges against these two who were arrested.)
"May isa pa silang hinahanap," he added.
(They are still searching for one more suspect.)
Cecille Martinez-Lai was with her 24-year-old son Thursday afternoon last week when they were harassed and physically assaulted by three suspects — one female and two males — in New York City.
According to Cecille, they had just alighted from a vehicle when the suspects, who were onboard a white SUV, started taunting them by calling them "ugly Asians."
Cecille said they ignored the taunts, but one of the suspects threw water at them, prompting her to throw the food she was holding to the suspects' vehicle.
As seen on the CCTV footage released by the New York Police District (NYPD), the suspects then got out of their vehicle and one of them punched Cecille which rendered her unconscious.
The suspects then turned to the son, a former US Marine, and repeatedly punched him.
Cecille said her son did not fight back and chose instead to attend to her.
The video also showed the suspects seemingly trying to run over the victims with their vehicle.
"Dinala po ng bystanders [sa hospital] at tumawag po ng 911," Cortes said.
(Bystanders brought them [to the hospital] and called 911.)
"Ang ating dalawang kababayan na nabiktima ng hate crime sa New York ay okay na po sila. They're just undergoing a little medical procedure, nag-MRI po yata to make sure walang internal bleeding 'yung mag-ina," he added.
(Our two countrymen who were victims of hate crime in New York are now doing okay. They're just undergoing a little medical procedure, MRI, to make sure mother and son have no internal bleeding.)
"Alam niyo po ang New York City malaki ang network nila when it comes to fighting hate crime. In fact, according to the New York Police Department, medyo bumaba ang hate crime in the past couple of months. And 'yung mga ganitong klaseng insidente, isolated as they are, siyempre nakakabahala din po," Cortes said.
(New York City has a wide network when it comes to fighting hate crime. In fact, according to the New York Police Department, the incidence of hate crime went down a bit in the past couple of months. And these incidents, isolated as they are, of course cause much concern.)
The DFA official said the Philippine Consulate is actively informing the Filipino-American community about hate crimes and what to do when they happen.
"Ang konsulado natin sa pangunguna ni Consul General Senen Mangalile ay very active as far as informing the Filipno-American community in New York about hate crime and what to do 'pag may nangyaring ganitong insidente," Cortes said.
(Our consulate under the leadership of Consul General Senen Mangalile is very active as far as informing the Filipino-American community in New York about hate crime and what to do when incidents like this happen.)
"All we need to do is call the local police authorities," he said.
With the filing of charges against the suspects, Cortes said "hopefully para ma-deter 'yung mga ganitong klase not only against the Pinoys but against the other nationalities."
(...hopefully [the filing of charges against the suspects] will deter these kinds of hate crimes not only against Pinoys but against the other nationalities.)
"Hate crime per se is something that is not tolerated not only in the Philippines but of course in America as well," he added. —KG, GMA Integrated News