Mauling of Muslim Pinay nurse in New York condemned

By Ali G. Macabalang  

Amid growing uproar over the recent kidnap-slay of online Nadia Casar in Nueva Ecija, female Filipina nurse Potre Rangkamanis was reportedly mauled in New York City, USA by a black American couple while handing them face masks inside a subway train.

The assault on Rangkamanis came to fore through a broadcast report Friday, Aug. 13 by the GMA news network.

The report did not mention when Rangakamis was assaulted, stating only that she was giving face masks to a mask-less black American couple inside a subway train.

Instead of appreciating, the couple mauled Rangkamanis and insultingly asked her to return to China, thinking she was Chinese, the GMA report said.

Rangkamanis, who looked like a Chinese Muslim resembling counterparts in China’s Uighur, is a Filipina from Lanao del Sur in Mindanao working as licensed nurse in New York City for years, it was learned.

Bangsamoro regional Parliament Member Zia-ur Rahman Alonto-Adiong immediately issued a statement on Friday to condemn the assault on the helpless Rangkamis.

The assault exemplified “a symptom of yet another disease called racism, and the pandemic has only (deepened the) problem of hate and discrimination more apparent,” Adiong lamented.

Adiong pointed out how “the rise of Covid-19 cases has fueled anti-Asian rhetoric and xenophobic attacks around the world.”

Rangkamanis is the founder of Kinding Sindaw, a nonprofit dance theater company based in New York City that aims to “assert, preserve, reclaim, and recreate” the cultures and traditions of the peoples in Mindanao, he said.

Rangkamanis like Adiong is a member of the Bangsamoro region’s Maranao tribe, to which the slain online jewelry seller Nadia Casar, 35, also belonged.

Meanwhile, Muslim groups demanding justice for Casar have expressed dismay over the absence of words from the Palace or President Duterte, who had earlier claimed having a Maranao blood through his grandmother’s lineage.

They said many Maranao traders had fallen victims to unscrupulous schemes by alleged members of the police force but “no words” have been heard yet from the President, citing Rangkamanis’ mauling as an added incident.  

Earlier, Adiong filed a resolution vehemently condemning the kidnap of Casar on July 20 in Nueva Ecija allegedly by five cops and two civilians. His resolution complemented a statement by Regional Parliament Speaker Pangalian Ali Balindong denouncing Casar’s abduction, slay and possible rape.

Investigators said Casar hired a Grab driver to deliver from Cavite an online-ordered item to Franklin Macapagal on July 20 in Nueva Ecija.

They said that while returning, Casar and the driver were blocked and abducted along Sta. Rosa by five cops with Macapagal and Dario Robarios, another civilian. The suspects took the driver’s P4,500 cash and his cellphone, and freed him the next day.

The driver went to theSta. Rosa police station, and recognized one of the cop-suspects on a group of photos posted on the wall, anti-kidnap group (AKG) investigators said.

On August 1, Casar’s burnt remains placed in a sack were recovered from a shallow pit in Palayan City. Speculations pointed to possible rape of Casar by her captors before her death.

The National Commission on Muslim Filipinos had condemned the incident and dispatched a team accompanied by a lawyer to assist in the indictment and prosecution of all suspects.

Three of the cops were arrested alongside civilian suspect Robarios, while the two others surrendered later. Reports said Macapagal remained at large.   

The five cop-suspects assigned in various Nueva Ecija police units were named as Senior Master Sgt. Rowen Martin, Staff Sgt. Benedict Matias Reyes, Staff Sgt. June Malillin, Cpl. Julius Alcantara, and Staff Sgt. Drextemir Esmundo.

PNP Chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar on August 2 ordered the summary dismissal proceedings for the five cops and their prosecution alongside the two civilian suspects. He later met Casar’s relatives and renewed vow to personally monitor the dispensation of justice. (AGM)

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