MANILA — When a Filipino immigrant was brutally attacked this week on a New York City sidewalk, the Philippine foreign secretary went on Twitter and advised his compatriots in the United States to fight back.
“The answer to racism has to be police/military; not understanding,” the foreign secretary, Teodoro Locsin, said in another Twitter post on the attack. “Racists understand only force.”
Mr. Locsin’s aggressive response, which echoed the bombastic populism of his boss, President Rodrigo Duterte, reflected how Philippine officials often see the welfare and interests of the country’s overseas labor migrants as a domestic issue. In the Philippines, many people view those migrants — whose remittances account for nearly a tenth of gross domestic product — as being part of their own community even if they’ve made their home somewhere else.
“Every Filipino family has an American relative,” said Renato Cruz De Castro, a professor of international studies at De La Salle University in Manila, the Philippine capital. “The assumption here is that the Filipina who was attacked in New York still has relatives here.”
attacked with a box cutter on the subway after he confronted a stranger who had kicked his tote bag.
called on American officials to ensure their safety amid rising anti-Asian hate crimes during the pandemic.