MANILA, Apr 21 (Mabuhay) — Ana Patricia Non on Wednesday appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte to see the popularity of community pantry initiatives as a “wake-up call” to the government to see the current needs of Filipinos.
“President Duterte, nanawagan po ako na maging wake-up call na hindi po talaga sapat po ang kita ng mga Pilipino, ang ayuda po at tulong po,” Non said.
“Sana po makita natin na hindi naman sila pipila kung hindi naman talaga kailangan at nararanasaan po siya sa buong bansa,” she added.
Non, organizer of the Maginhawa Community Pantry in Quezon City, said similar pantries sprouted in different places across the Philippines because people themselves have seen the needs of their neighbors.
Prior to giving her message to Duterte, Non reiterated that community pantries welcome everyone regardless of their religion, gender, or political affiliation.
She also clarified, in the same interview, that she has personal opinion about the government but that doesn’t “reflect” on her community pantry initiative.
“Ang opinion ko ay hindi para sa lahat ng pantries… so tingin ko hindi ito tungkol sa atin. ‘Yan din ang call ko sa media na [huwag] i-focus ang attention sa akin because it’s about the community at the end of the day, it’s about the people and ‘yung donors,” Non said.
Non’s pantry suspended its operation on Tuesday after the alleged red-tagging by government security forces, after graphics posted on social media link such initiatives to the communist movement.
National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) spokesperson Lieutenant General Antonio Parlade Jr. on Tuesday denied they are red-tagging individuals involved in the initiative but admitted that they are checking the background of the organizers.
Meanwhile, the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) has apologized to the community pantry organizers over its social media post.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, meanwhile, said the Duterte administration is supportive of the community pantry initiative and will not hamper its operations.
The Maginhawa Community Pantry resumed operations on Wednesday. (MNS)