MALACAÑANG is seeking justice for the death of a Filipina frontline health care worker in New York.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Monday, October 11, urged the United States government to prosecute the man who killed 58-year-old Maria Ambrocio from New Jersey.
“All victims of violations of the right to life are entitled to a speedy domestic remedy. So, we appeal of course to the U.S. administration to investigate and prosecute the killer of this Filipino nurse,” he said in a Palace briefing.
“We call upon the U.S. government to do what is incumbent upon any state where there is a killing,” he added.
Ambrocio was an oncology nurse at Bayonne Medical Center. She was walking with another Filipina near Times Square at around 1 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 8, when a homeless man shoved her to the ground, causing her to slam her head against the pavement and suffer severe head trauma.
She was brought to NYC Health and Hospital/Bellevue where she succumbed to her injuries on Saturday, Oct. 9.
In a statement on Sunday, Oct. 10, the Philippine Consulate General in New York said the incident is the latest in the series of violent acts against members of the Filipino Community in New York City since the start of 2021.
“Beginning January, we have seen several of our kababayan, most of them senior citizens, violently assaulted by individuals with mental health issues,” it added.
Ambrocio’s attacker is currently in the custody of the New York police. He was identified as Jermaine Foster, 26, of Irvington, New Jersey.
According to FOX 5, Foster snatched a phone away from a 29-year-old woman near the scene of the incident. As he attempted to flee, he pushed Ambrocio to the ground.
The suspect has been charged with second degree murder.
The consulate, for its part, urged authorities to take the necessary steps to protect the public as well as address mental health issues.
“We have joined calls for authorities to take the necessary steps, including heightened police visibility, to protect the public after we noted the surge in anti-Asian hate incidents that targeted some of our kababayan. We also supported calls for authorities to take the necessary measures to address mental health issues, especially among the homeless,” it said.
“We reiterate these calls as we mourn our loss but we also ask ourselves: How many more Maria Ambrocios do we have to mourn before the streets would be made safe again?” it added.