NTF-ELCAC admits background check on community pantry organizers

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CONTRARY to the statement of Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Debold Sinas, the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) has admitted doing some background check on the persons behind the sprawling community pantries giving away food to the needy.

We’re just checking itong background ng mga ‘to. Yes, chini-check ‘yan,” NTF-ELCAC spokesperson Lieutenant General Antonio Parlade Jr. said, adding that leftist groups are replicating the random act of kindness for propaganda.

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,” added Parlade, who clarified that background check does not necessarily translate to red-tagging.

Sinas earlier denied in a statement the alleged police profiling of organizers of community pantries, which sprouted recently amid the hardship brought upon by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Part of the statement reads: “It is beyond the interest of the PNP to delve into purely voluntary personal activities of private citizens. We are aware of the activities of these community pantries as an expression of Bayanihan spirit, but we have no intention to interfere but to serve the best interest of law and order and public safety in such public activities.”

According to Sinas, the particular consideration of the police in the area is the observance of public health standards when there is a gathering of ten or more persons that builds up a crowd.

He also denied police interference with the community outreach mission, adding that the cops are there to ensure utmost assistance for an orderly distribution to the needy.

On Monday, Anna Patricia Non, the person behind the proliferation of community pantries is shutting down her kiosk for fear of her life following efforts of cops whom she claimed have been asking for her personal details, including organizations that she is part of or working with.

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