Government anti-insurgency task force spokesperson Lieutenant General Antonio Parlade Jr. on Tuesday admitted that they are checking the background of the organizers of community pantries.
Interviewed on Super Radyo dzBB, Parlade claimed that some leftist groups are copying the community pantry activities from well-meaning individuals to push their propaganda.
"We're just checking itong background ng mga 'to. Yes, tsini-check 'yan [We're just checking their background. Yes, they are being checked],” said Parlade, spokesperson for the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).
"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.
(They're spreading propaganda while at the community pantry. They are saying that the people are hungry because of government failure, among other propaganda.)
Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police General Debold Sinas, however, denied the alleged police profiling of organizers of community pantries, which sprouted recently amid the hardship brought upon by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Parlade, who is also the military's Southern Luzon Command commander, denied they were red-tagging the organizers of the community pantries. He said they would issue a statement on the matter within the day.
Asked about the social media post of NTF-ELCAC supposedly “red-tagging” the organizers of community pantries, Parlade told GMA News Online that only the media used the term "red-tagging."
In statement, NTF-ELCAC spokesperson Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy said the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) was duping the public.
“Ang ‘red-tagging’ ay gawa-gawa lamang ng CPP-NPA-NDF para makamit ang bulok nilang ayenda nang pagpapahina sa gobyerno at kasama dito ang paghingi ng donasyon dito sa Pilipinas at sa ibang bansa,” she said.
(“Red-tagging was only made up by the CPP-NPA-NDF to achieve their rotten agenda to weaken the government and to ask donations here in the Philippines and abroad.”)
Badoy also said that the slogan started by the Maginhawa Community Pantry, “Magbigay batay sa kakayahan, kumuha batay sa pangangailangan (From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs)” was a philosophy of the “Father of Communism,” Karl Marx.
On Monday, Anna Patricia Non, the organizer of the Maginhawa Community Pantry, which kickstarted the recent trend, said there would be a pause in their operation for the safety of its volunteers.
Some of the organizers were supposedly being red-tagged and asked for their personal information by government authorities. —KBK/BM, GMA News