Philippine Foreign Minister Carlos Romulo said yesterday that a New York police search of a Philippine mission was "reminiscent of the infamous Ku Klux Klan and the the 60s."

Romulo, attending a meeting here of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, said his government "is not disposed to accept anything less than redress for these grave acts of malice and cruelty."

He said "hoodlums in police uniforms" broke into the Philippine mission in New York Sunday, pistol whipped a security guard and another diplomatic employe and conducted an "illegal search" of the building.

The New York police said the officers were chasing men involved in a fight outside the mission, and they withdrew once they realized the building had diplomatic status. The Status Department later apologized for the intrusion.

"The New York police version of this incident is completely unacceptable to us," Romulo said. "I find it particularly ironic that this perfidious crime against human dignity should occur at a time when the United States has proclaimed itself the champion of human rights everywhere."

Romulo also took a swipe at Patt Derian, U.S. assistant secretary of state for human rights and an outspoken critic of alleged human rights violations in the Philippines.

Romulo said he hoped "Ms. Patt Derian, that self-appointed messiah of human rights," would conduct "a breif exercise in self-examination" in light of the New York incident.