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.
In a Facebook post, Ana Patricia Non, who initiated the Maginhawa community pantry last week, said that she now fears for her safety and could not even walk alone in the community where she lives because of what she categorically claimed as baseless accusations against her.
“Natatakot po ako maglakad mag-isa papunta sa community pantry ng alas-5 ng umaga dahil po sa walang basehang paratang sa amin. Gusto ko lang po talaga makatulong at sana po ay huwag nyo masamain,” she said in a Facebook post.
According to Non, she has already asked help from Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte following an incident last Monday. Non recounts that three police officers have asked for her contact number and to which organization she belongs.
Non said that even if she wanted to, she may no longer be able to give away what remains of the basic needs that she has pooled for those in need near the place where she lives.
“Malungkot po dahil hindi muna maipapamahagi ang goods na inihanda namin buong maghapon dahil po sa #RedTagging na nagaganap.”
But even with the Maginhawa community pantry shutdown, poor families in the area have refused to leave Maginhawa Street in Quezon City where the random act of kindness started and has grown to be a prototype of other communities across the archipelago.
The National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) earlier shared several posts on Facebook accusing community pantries as venue of communist propaganda.
As this developed, Philippine National Police director general Debold Sinas issued a statement claiming that there was no such order for policemen to conduct any form of profiling of organizers of community pantries.
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,” the statement further reads.
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.
(Photo credit: pna.gov.ph)