‘Leave community pantries alone,’ Palace says amid red-tagging of organizers
MANILA, Philippines — Amid red-tagging fears among community pantry organizers, Malacañang said these initiatives should be left alone, except for an issue of minimum health standards.
The Maginhawa community pantry has paused operations due to organizer Ana Patricia Non’s concerns about red-tagging. She cited a Facebook post by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac) in which the initiative was accused of being used for communist propaganda.
“I think the President has spoken through my office, the DILG [Department of the Interior and Local Government] has spoken and unless their concern is about health protocols not being observed, they should let these community pantries alone,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said when asked if NTF-Elcac would be held accountable for its posts.
However, Roque did not categorically answer a question regarding whether it was improper for the NTF-Elcac to make such accusations.
“Let’s just say the President welcomes all initiatives na makakatulong sa ating kababayan habang tayo ay nasa pandemya,” he said.
(Let’s just say the President welcomes all initiatives that will help our countrymen while we’re in a pandemic.)
Roque added that it is up to NTF-Elcac to decide whether to discontinue posting such claims like these.
“That’s part of the free marketplace of ideas. Sa tingin ko kahit ano ang sabihin nila, basta nakikinabang ang taumbayan dyan, maniniwala pa rin ang kababayan natin sa community pantries,” Roque further said.
(That’s part of the free marketplace of ideas. The public will always support community pantries no matter what they say as long as the people are benefiting from it..)
Legislators have spoken out against the red-tagging of community pantries that have sprouted in many places to help people in need of food through the donation of food.
Police officers were also called out for supposedly profiling community pantry organizers. However, Philippine National Police Gen. Debold Sinas denied issuing such an order. https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/?p=1421349#ixzz6sXceW1aS
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