Saturday, July 10, 2010

Northern Ireland is All Over Filipino News...

Yesterday on TFC (The Filipino Channel) reported on the latest racist attacks on Filipinos in Northern Ireland. Not a surprise to me but now my parents have a really bad impression of the place, and have been asking weird questions if HopAlong's family is prejudiced because they are Protestant. Well it's obvious they aren't because they wouldn't invite me into their home if they were. At least my parents finally know why I came back and decided to get married and live in America instead of over there...

Racist attack in N. Ireland targets Filipino family

A Filipino family in Belfast, Northern Ireland, has expressed fears for their safety after racist attacks in their Whiteabbey town on Tuesday left a part of their house and a Filipino neighbor’s car scorched.

The Philippine Embassy in London said Ishis Calungsod and his family were targeted in a racially motivated arson in their street, which involved the burning of a car owned by Arnel Verzonilla, another Filipino.

“The Embassy has been in touch with Mr. Calungsod and Mr. Verzonilla, and they and their families are safe," the Embassy said in a statement posted on the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) website.

A report by Belfast Telegraph stated 30-year-old Calungsod and his wife were sleeping with their two children, aged four and six, when Verzonilla’s car, parked at the front door of their house in Fernagh Avenue, went up in flames.

Verzonilla lives in the same building several doors up.

Another car parked on the same street, owned by an Indian family, was likewise torched, the report said.

The report said the Calungsod family learned of the fire only when firefighters broke into their house to rescue them.

Local police have ruled the burning of the cars as racially motivated, following at least three similar incidents also in Belfast recorded a day before, based on the report.

The Philippine Embassy condemned the dastardly act of hate and discrimination committed against a Filipino family and individuals belonging to other ethnic groups. It added that Embassy has made representations with the Police Service of Northern Ireland urging them to undertake action to identify and punish the perpetrators.

“Such hate crimes should be eradicated and the root causes addressed to ensure that these acts do not undermine the cross-community successes in Northern Ireland in recent years," the Embassy said in a statement.

According to the Belfast report, Calungsod moved to Northern Ireland five years ago to work. “We didn’t have any problems before but now we are thinking of moving again. We moved here because our friends live here. They said it was a nice, quiet street, good for our kids. And it had been. But now we are all scared," Calungsod was quoted as saying in the report.

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