By Minka Klaudia Tiangco
Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso urged the public to stop discriminating against Chinese nationals amid the threat of the 2019-novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in the country.
Domagoso said he noticed the increasing incidents of discrimination against Chinese and said that it was “unfair” for the public to turn against a single race due to the spread of the virus.
“It is true that we are facing a challenge. There is anxiousness, fear, and panic. But we should not single out [China]… It is quite unfair,” he said in Filipino during the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Manila at the Manila City Hall on Monday.
“I cannot blame you because of the weight of the situation. But as the father of the city of Manila, I am calling on the public to not be judgmental and not turn against a single nation. The most effective way is to let our love for our fellow men, no matter what kind, color, or race, prevail.”
The local chief executive cited the contributions of Chinese and Filipino-Chinese nationals who fought alongside allied forces for the liberation of Manila in 1945.
“Today, you saw, you heard that our Filipino-Chinese and Chinese soldiers went to this city, dedicated their lives to fight side-by-side with allied forces led by the Americans. And today, it is quite unfair for us to continue that prejudgment,” he said.
Two of the country’s confirmed cases of the 2019-nCoV, which originated in Wuhan, China, were admitted to San Lazaro Hospital in Manila.
The 44-year-old Chinese man from Wuhan who tested positive for the virus died on Feb, 1. He was the first Chinese patient who died outside of China. His companion, a 38-year-old Chinese woman who also tested positive for the virus, is in stable condition, the city mayor confirmed.