The Quezon City Police Department deleted a post it shared that linked the community pantry to the communist rebellion.
QCPD’s Facebook page previously shared an infographic from a page called Peace Philippines that accused progressive group Tulong Kabataan of spreading communist propaganda through its own community pantry setup.
A screenshot of the post was among other copies of social media posts community pantry organizer Ana Patricia Non shared on Facebook on April 20.
Non was the one who started the community pantry initiative in Maginhawa Street in Quezon City. This was eventually replicated in several communities across the country.
In the graphic in question, photos of other pantries were juxtaposed to some photos of Tulong Kabataan.
“Ang ‘Tulong Kabataan’ ay isang organisasyon na ginawa ng CPP-NPA-NDF para makakuha ng pndo makapagrecruit ng mga kabataan at mamamayan,” part of the text read.
This infographic was also re-shared by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, which could still be accessed on its Facebook page.
In a separate statement sent to reports, Quezon City police apologized for the social media post.
“QCPD does not and will never allow alleged red-tagging…We are now reaching out with the organizer/outlet manager as the QCPD is very much willing to support the noble cause especially in this time of pandemic,” said QCPD District Director Brigadier General Antonio Yarra.
In her statement, Non cited these accusatory posts as the reason for the temporary suspension of the program.
She also bared that some police officers have previously approached and asked for her personal information.
Aside from the QCPD screenshot, she also shared other malicious posts that linked community pantry volunteers to communist rebels.
“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.
Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte later issued a statement where she assured Non and other similar individuals that the local government supports such initiatives.
“I would like to personally assure Ms. Ana Patricia Non and other like-minded individuals that the local government of Quezon City fully supports Community Pantries,” Belmonte said.
She also requested Yarra to probe Non’s security concerns.
“Early today, I reached out to Ms. Non and discussed her concerns about her safety and security. I have requested QCPD District Director Brigadier Antonio Yarra to conduct an investigation regarding Ms. Non’s apprehensions and earlier experiences,” Belmonte said.
“I will likewise meet with Station 9 Commander Police Lt. Col. Imelda Reyes, under which jurisdiction Maginhawa falls, to further discuss Miss Non’s security concerns,” she added.
NTF-ELCAC, meanwhile, admitted that they are doing background checks on the community pantry organizers.
In an interview with Super Radyo dzBB on April 20, the agency’s spokesperson Lieutenant General Antonio Parlade Jr. noted the inclusion of some leftist groups in these activities.
“Habang nandoon sila sa community, meron silang propaganda na ginagawa. May sinasabi silang gutom ang mga tao dahil sa kapalpakan ng gobyerno, kung anu-ano pa,” Parlade said.