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Pasig women explain community pantry clean-out: We're willing to give stuff back

A group of women apologized for taking all the groceries and food laid out at a community pantry in Pasig's Barangay Kapitolyo, adding that they were willing to return the items that they took.

According to Jonathan Andal’s 24 Oras report, a security camera recorded how the group of six women took all the goods, including two trays of eggs, offered at a community pantry.

In just a few minutes, the women had scooped up all the items, leaving only the table and signs at the pantry.

After they were criticized online, the women defended their actions, saying they took all the goods so they could give them to their neighbors.

But Carla Quiogue, the organizer of the pantry, lamented that the neighbors could just as easily have visited the pantry and taken whatever it was that they needed.

“Hala Grabe pati yung dalawang tray ng itlog nawala, pati tray mismo," said Quiogue. "Tinawag ko nga po sila, sabi ko, nakalimutan nila yung lamesa eh. Sabi nila ibibigay na lang daw nila sa kapitbahay nila.”

(Two trays of eggs were gone, even the trays themselves. I called them back and said they forgot to take the table as well. They said they would give the food to their neighbors.)

“Sabi ko sa kanila nu’n pwede namang sila na lang pumunta rito kung kailangan din ng kapitbahay ninyo,” she added.

(I told them that their neighbors could have come to the pantry themselves.)

However, someone who claimed to be a neighbor of the women said that the goods were given to relatives.

Ika, one of the neighborhood women who took the goods from the pantry, apologized but clarified that she did not steal anything.

“Pasensya na po na ganoon ang asal namin pero lilinawin namin na hindi kami nagnakaw,” she said, adding that she asked permission from a nearby village watchman before taking anything.

(I’m sorry about how we acted but I will clarify that we did not steal anything.)

Another of the women, Shawie, said she was willing to return the items as she was being bullied online.

“Kaya po namin isoli yon kung ganyan din ilalabas nila sa social media,” she said.

(We can return them if you will just criticize us.)

However, one of the group’s neighbors said that women did give away the food they had taken. He received four eggs and two packets of noodles from them.

He also asked netizens to stop bashing  the women.

Quiogue, for her part, said her pantry would have benefited other families who were also hungry due to the lockdown restrictions.

“Marami pa sana gustong kumuha pero iyon nga, kinuha na nila lahat ,” she said.

(More would’ve received the goods but they just took them all.)

— Consuelo Marquez/DVM, GMA News