Maginhawa community pantry halts operations over red-tagging fears
MANILA, Philippines — The Maginhawa community pantry along Maginhawa Street in Quezon City, which recently made headlines for its noble objective of sharing donated food and other essential items to needy residents in the community is temporarily closed, its organizer said due to red-tagging issues.
Ana Patricia Non, the organizer of the Maginhawa community pantry, made the announcement on her Facebook account Monday night.
“Hindi magandang balita. Bukas po pause po muna ang #MaginhawaCommunityPantry para sa safety po namin ng mga volunteers,” Non said.
(Bad news. The Maginhawa community pantry will temporarily cease operations tomorrow for the safety of our volunteers.)
“Malungkot po dahil hindi muna maipapamahagi ang goods na inihanda namin buong maghapon dahil po sa #RedTagging na nagaganap,” she added.
(It’s saddening that we cannot distribute the goods that we prepared for the whole day because of the redtagging that has been happening.)
In her post, Non included screenshots of several social media posts accusing the community pantry of links to communist groups.
One of the screenshots showed that the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, which has been previously involved in redtagging controversies, shared posts saying that community pantries are being used for propaganda of the CPP-NPA-NDF.
“Magbigat sa pakirandam ko kasi maganda po ang intentions ko noong binuo ko ang #CommunityPantry at ilang araw na din po na napakaraming pinagsisilbihan nito at ganun din po ang tulong na dumadating,” Non said.
(It is a heavy feeling for me because the intentions when the community pantry began was good and in the past few days, we were able to help many people and many others also extended help.)
“Sigurado po maraming tao po ang pipila sa amin bukas pero kailangan po muna nila maghintay sa susunod na araw bago po ito maipamahagi. Lalo na po at nagkaproblema kanina ang ibang community pantry sa mga kapulisan,” she added.
(Many people will line up tomorrow but they need to wait for the next few days before the goods are distributed especially since other community pantries are also having problems with the police.)
Non has called on Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte, saying that three members of the police force have asked for her number.
“Natatakot po ako maglakad mag-isa papunta sa community pantry ng alas singko ng umaga dahil po sa walang basehang paratang sa amin. Gusto ko lang po talaga makatulong at sana po ay huwag nyo masamain,” Non said.
(I am afraid to walk alone to the community pantry at 5 in the morning because of these baseless accusations against us. I just want to help.)
Meanwhile, many netizens have called out police officers allegedly profiling organizers of the community pantry projects in the city of Manila.
Now-viral photos on social media suggest that police officers showed up at some community pantries in Manila and supposedly subjected some organizers to many questions, including who is in charge of the initiative and whether they are affiliated with certain organizations.
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