Community pantries

Tacloban Community Pantry decries red-tagging on local radio show

Lorraine Ecarma

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Tacloban Community Pantry decries red-tagging on local radio show

Photo from the community pantry's official Facebook page.

Photo from the community pantry's official Facebook page.

Anchors at local radio station DYXV 98.3 begin insinuating the existence of a leftist agenda behind the Tacloban Community Pantry

The Tacloban Community Pantry is calling out a local anchor for red-tagging their volunteer efforts on an episode of Ratsada Balita Extended, aired on local radio station DYXV 98.3 MagikFM.

On April 29, anchors Allan Amistoso and Ben Veridiano, discussed an altercation that took place in the Tacloban Community Pantry, located in Barangay 39, Tacloban City, between volunteers and barangay officials. That same episode, the anchors interviewed village chief Ricardo Orgado who said that social distancing measures were reportedly breached in the community pantry, prompting barangay officials to visit the area.

But the discussion took a turn after the interview with Orgado, when anchors began insinuating the existence of a leftist agenda behind the community pantry.

“An iyo ngaran diri na magsasayop: Tacloban Communist Party,” Veridiano said, playing by the acronym TYP.

(So we make no mistake about your name: Tacloban Communist Party.)

He also went on to accuse Ana Patricia Non, founder of the initial community pantry in Maginhawa in Quezon City, of giving out “leaflets” during the distribution of goods.

“Yana gumawas an kamatuuran, si Non, nagawas ngayan nga miyembro talaga ng organisasyong kaliwa… katapos meron pang lumabas na istorya na na habang nag ko-community pantry, may mga leaflets na barasahon, na may ginagawa, at sinasabi ng ELCAC may katotohanan din, ini papakita han pagsur-o ha gobyerno,” he said.

(Now the truth comes out, that Non, is a member of a leftist group. And there is also a story that came out that while they’re doing the community pantry, there are leaflets or reading materials that are being distributed. ELCAC says there is a truth to this, that they are doing this to challenge the government.)

In that same discussion, main anchor Amistoso echoed Veridiano’s statements by noting the possibility of a “hidden agenda.”

“Amo ini it malabad ky bangin may hidden agenda gud man. Ky kun mga yano la nga civilian, maupay hinduro. Good Samaritan,” he said.

(And what’s bad is that there may really be a hidden agenda. Because if these are just ordinary civilians, that would be really good. Good Samaritans.)

The pantry organizers released a statement on May 6 denying any political affiliations behind their initiative.

“We vehemently deny any accusation of alleged involvement with any political organization. We are simply composed of youth volunteers with no agenda but to address the urgent need for community aid in the form of providing free food based on our capacity to help,” the Tacloban Community Pantry organizers’ statement read.

The organizers also pointed out that failing to coordinate with barangay officials does not justify red-tagging and harassment.

“While not coordinating with the barangay is considered a misstep on our part even if we are not obliged to do so, it is still not a license to harass, berate and red-tag our volunteer,” the statement read.

During the episode, the anchors attempted but failed to contact pantry organizers for their side of the incident. They instead read out a statement put out by the organizers on their encounter with barangay officials on April 28.

MagikFM is set to release its own statement on the issue.


In the April 28 statement, the pantry organizers claimed the barangay officials took videos and photos of the volunteers as well as asked for their names.

They also said the officials made claims that the organizers had a “hidden agenda” in putting up the pantry.

In the April 29 interview, Orgado maintained officials came to the pantry to implement social distancing among the crowd gathered at the area. He said the reason why officials asked for the volunteers’ names and organizations was so they could help out in facilitating the relief efforts.

This is not the first case of red-tagging of community pantries in the country.

The Maginhawa Pantry was forced to temporarily halt operations because of posts shared by the Quezon City Police District and the National Task Force Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict which links pantries to rebel groups.

The palace has since released a statement for authorities to stop targeting organizers of community pantries. – With reports from Jene-Anne Pangue/

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