Filipino nurses in the United Kingdom on Monday rallied in front of the Daily Mail’s office in London to protest the national newspaper’s series of articles that they said incites “racial hatred” against Filipinos following the conviction of Victorino Chua.
The protestors told The Nursing Times that the Mail’s labeling of Chua as a “Filipino serial killer” is “malicious and degrading” and would put to question the credibility of Filipino nurses and their years of service.
“We believed that the nationality of the perpetrator of these wicked crimes should be irrelevant,” the protestors said. “We would accept a reference to Chua being of Filipino ethnicity within the body of the story, however the Daily Mail referred to Chua as a ‘Filipino serial killer’ in the title of the news article is uncalled for.”
“What happened was a tragedy and safety measures have to be implemented to stop it from happening again. However, scaremongering and targeting a specific group of people is not helping,” they added.
Though deeply apologetic for the crimes committed by Chua—who, aside from killing two patients, was also convicted for poisoning several others at Stepping Hill Hospital in 2011 and 2012—the protestors said the Mail “should be shamed of its biased, partial reporting.”
“These are the reasons for our protest, we demand an apology and for the Daily Mail to highlight the outstanding contribution Filipino health care workers make to the United Kingdom,” they said.
Royal College of Nursing secretary general Dr. Peter Carter stated last May 26 that Filipino nurses have “contributed enormously” to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) and objected strongly to reports sensationalizing Chua’s nationality.
“In the aftermath of a case as shocking and as disturbing as this, all members of the media have a duty to report the facts and to investigate, analyse and debate in a sensitive and appropriate manner,” Carter said in a statement posted on the RCN website.
Jamima Fagta, project alliance of the Filipino-led group Kanlungan Alliance, told the Guardian that Filipinos in the UK fear a backlash against them especially after the Mail’s article on the continued hiring of Filipino nurses by the NHS.