‘Imagine the backfire’: Community pantries raise more cash after red-tagging

April 22, 2021 - 1:40 PM
Residents line up to get free food and supplies as the Maginhawa community pantry in Quezon City reopens on Wednesday, April 21, 2021. (The STAR/Michael Varcas)

More donations poured in for a fundraising initiative for community pantries in the country following the red-tagging accusations.

Zena Bernardo, a relative of community pantry organizer Ana Patricia Non, shared that the fundraiser via PayPal successfully collected $10,332 as of Wednesday.

Bernardo shared this achievement on Facebook and attached a screenshot of the PayPal account in her post.


Non was the one who set up the first community pantry along Maginhawa Street in Quezon City which was later replicated in several places nationwide.

This bayanihan movement progressed amid the delay in the national government’s financial aid to the poor.

Bernardo shared that the Paypal fundraising drive was initiated by Non’s sister, Pauline Jenny Non.

The initial goal was only to reach $5,000.

“Patreng is our baby in the family. She is her ate Jenny’s pet. So she, Pauline Jenny Non, said she will donate $100. But then she said, ‘why don’t I pool resources for my baby sister’s project,’” Bernardo said.

“So she created one using her PayPal, pegged her GOAL initially at $5,000. (She is based in the US and she knew that amount for a fundraiser is quite doable as she also does community feeding program for homeless minorities since last year.),” she added.

NTF-ELCAC spokesperson’s post

More than an hour before Bernardo’s post, Communications Undersecretary Lorraine Marie Badoy, also the spokesperson of National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, in a Facebook post lamented how Ana Patricia raised half a million and also pointed out that the monetary donations were in dollars.

“Why dollars, I wonder? Dollars for international donors, of course. You know those poor innocent white dudes who have no idea they’re being taken for a ride,” Badoy claimed.

She also advised those who donated their money to seek for clear accounting of their donations and then went on to associate Ana Patricia with the communist rebellion.

“Ask where your money went. Make sure it goes to where you want it to go…” Badoy said.
“Because AP Non or Ka Patring, according to former CPP NPA NDF cadres who know her, is a member of the underground mass organization ARMAS. (Artista at Manunulat ng Sambayanan) that believes in the violent overthrow of government,” she added.

The NTF-ELCAC spokeswoman then attached a link to the PayPal donation drive for the community pantries.

For Bernardo, this became a form of promotion because more funds started coming in after. She then wittingly thanked the task force for it.

“Some donated $1… Some $100…then this ELCAC decided to promote the Community Pantry and boom! Biglang nagdoble ang donation today!” she said.

“Salamat ELCAC! LABYUMATS! (heart emoji) (Abutin kaya namin ang level ng 19B budget ninyo?),” she added.

Bernardo was referring to the NTF-ELCAC P19-billion fund for 2021.

Red-tagging backfired?

Filipinos who supported the community pantry initiatives likewise poked fun at the NTF-ELCAC’s accusations, saying the agency’s plan backfired.

Other users cited that online personality Erwan Heussaff and model-actress Isabelle Daza donated after the government official’s post.

“While Lorraine Badoy, Parlade, and the rest of NTF-ELCAC had countless accusations and red tagging, the #CommunityPantryPH just raised $10,792! I just need to mention this celeb guy who silently supported this cause. Mabuhay ang mga organizers ng mga community pantries!” one user wrote.

“Imagine the backfire. Lorraine Badoy-Partosa, unfortunately is back in FB, posted the paypal link that Patreng used to solicit donations for the #communitypantry in an attempt to red-tag the fundraising efforts. Guess what, after posting it, Erwan Heussaf donated $2,000!” another user said.

Bernardo related this success to the #BabaeAko movement in 2018, which she and seven other like-minded women started via an online hashtag.

The online protest translated into a street demonstration that landed on Time Magazine’s “25 Most Influential People on the Internet.”

“SO. TAWANG TAWA KAMI,” Bernardo said.

“Remember the story of eight titas who met at a coffee shop in QC and came up with a hashtag that made it to Time Magazine’s 25 Most Influential People on the Internet in 2018? Tawang-tawa kami kasi we were just a bunch of “simple, limited techie” women pero dahil binash kami sa presscon ng palasyo, ayun! Sumabog,” she added.

Prior to this, the Facebook page of the NTF-ELCAC linked Ana Patricia and other community pantry organizers to the communist rebellion despite having no proof of it.
Ana Patricia then halted the operations of Maginhawa community pantry due to the red-tagging threats. She reopened it the following day after being assured by the Quezon City government that the city government supports their initiative and also assured the safety of the organizers.