A Filipino artist reported being red-tagged along with other volunteers of a community pantry in Manila.
Kevin Eric Raymundo, also known as Tarantadong Kalbo, informed his followers about this in a post on July 12.
“I got red-tagged for helping out a community pantry. Krimen na pala ang tumulong ngayon di ako na-inform,” Raymundo said.
He recently volunteered to create a poster for a call for donations for the Matimyas Workers Community Pantry in Sampaloc, Manila led by labor group Defend Jobs Philippines.
This food program was part of their “RoadTo100Days” campaign.
The bayanihan movement had been running for nearly three months since last April.
Raymundo and other volunteers, however, were still not spared from being associated with the communist rebellion despite no proof of it.
In an updated last July 11, which the artist re-posted, Defend Jobs Philippines announced that some posters were being distributed and posted in various areas in Pasig City that accused them of asking for donations to fund the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front.
It supposed that the red-tagging incident might be committed by “some fly-by-night groups created by the government.”
Photos of these posters were also attached to the post. The photos featured Raymundo’s artwork and the name of Defend Jobs Philippines being marked as alleged members of the CPP-NPA-NDF.
Christian Lloyd Magsoy, the spokesperson of Defend Job Philippines, stressed that the pantry was initiated to provide free food to workers in the area.
“The NTF-ELCAC (National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict) and its dummies must take its hands-off to our group’s legitimate and sincere intentions in pushing through our drive to help our in-need residents in Sampaloc, Manila,” Magsoy said.
“Our 86-day daily operations of giving out free food items in our Matimyas Workers Community Pantry will not coward us and swill never stop us to continue our pantry initiative towards our #RoadTo100Days campaign and beyond,” he added.
Magsoy expressed hopes that the groups responsible for the red-tagging could divert their attention to donate or set up similar initiatives instead.
He further noted that this “attack” posed a threat to the safety of the organizers of community pantries and the families who depend on them amid the pandemic.
“While no one will believe this false claims, lies and deception of the NTF-ELCAC and their cohorts, the attack against Defend Jobs and Philippines and the Matimyas Workers Community Pantry still deserve condemnation as it poses threat not just to the organizers, but to the hundreds of families depending on their services,” read the post.
Since community pantries started sprouting across the country last April, organizers and volunteers have condemned being profiled by local authorities, saying profiling posed safety risks to their personal lives.
Ana Patricia Non, the organizer of the Maginhawa Community Pantry, and some groups have also decried being accused communist rebels by the NTF-ELCAC.
These volunteer-led initiatives were launched earlier this year to help residents affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.