Roque Family and representatives of community organizations in dialogue with the Philippine Consulate General – Los Angeles
On August 31, the Roque family met with the Philippine Consulate General Los Angeles regarding the hate crime they suffered, after multiple attempts to get in touch with staff.
For weeks since the attack, the family has endured little support and a lack of urgency from the U.S. justice system, with insufficient communication from the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office and repeated postponement of their court hearing. Similarly, the family is extremely frustrated with the weeks-long lack of response by the Philippine government, despite the case’s high profile and the Philippine Consulate’s mandate to assist Filipino nationals. The family was joined by representatives from NAFCON, Migrante Los Angeles, the Filipino Migrant Center, and Neighborhood Safety Companions.
The Roque family shared their needs after the traumatizing incident and stated that all the support they’ve received so far has come from the pockets and services of community members. They hoped for the Philippine government to also look after their needs as Filipino nationals and migrant workers.
“Racist violence is one of the main issues experienced by the Filipino community, especially since the pandemic,” said Karen Roxas from NAFCON SoCal. “Many victims come from migrant working families who are essential to keeping the Philippine economy afloat. We hope that, moving forward, PCG-LA can support victims of hate crimes and other forms of violence through programs like Assistance to Nationals and other services that can help them heal and move forward.”
At the end of the meeting, PCG-LA committed to the following:
- Release a public statement in support of the Roque family as Filipino Nationals who are victims of a hate crime
- Send the family’s letter of request to the Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs to avail support from the Assistance to Nationals (ATN) program
- Look into meeting with the District Attorney’s office and urge them to uphold justice for the Roques
- Send a representative from PCG-LA to attend the Roques’ upcoming preliminary hearing on September 30, 2022
- Hosting weekly resource table on Stop AAPI Hate and Justice for the Roques with Neighborhood Safety Companions and other organizations.
PCG-LA and Filipino Community dialogue with LAPD
Shortly after the meeting, PCG-LA held a community meeting between the Los Angeles Police Department and leaders of the Filipino community regarding hate crimes. In the dialogue, the Roque family expressed their frustrations with the LAPD for discouraging them from filing a lawsuit against their perpetrator when they first reported the hate crime. They also repeated their disappointment with the lack of timely communication from the D.A. office regarding their case.
Patricia Roque expressing her frustrations on the lack of urgency of the U.S. justice system to the Los Angeles Police Department
“Anti-Asian hate is a symptom of structural racism, and it is essential that we look beyond reporting to law enforcement as the solution to hate crimes. Instead, we call for the re-allocation of resources and services to working class and immigrant communities,” said Josh De Leon of NAFCON SoCal. “NAFCON believes that increased law enforcement, more than anything, increases police violence against Black and Brown communities, as in the cases of two of our Filipino-American siblings, Angelo Quinto and Miguel Delos Santos. Support in the form of resources and more robust community services, rather than more police, is the solution to the suffering caused by the pandemic that is wrongfully being blamed on the Asian community.”
On September 30, community members will gather again to support the Roque family at their preliminary court hearing in Van Nuys Courthouse West. We call on more kababayans, Filipino organizations, and other solidarity organizations to unite with us in seeking justice for the Roques and all victims of racial violence. We also call on organizations to sign our new letter to District Attorney Gascon, which is already supported by 60+ organizations. For more information and updates, please visit tinyurl.com/justiceforroques.