Armed Forces chief General Cirilito Sobejana said Thursday that he has mandated the Civil-Military Operations Office (J7) to assist community pantries nationwide amid the pandemic.
According to Sobejan, AFP would support existing community pantries by providing food and allotting funds for their program.
“I already directed my J7 to issue a directive to all our units to organize themselves particularly the civil military operations unit and support this kind of undertaking among the other partners in the society,” he said.
Sobejana made the order amid accusations that the National Task Force on Ending the Local Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) and government military forces allegedly red-tagged and profiled organizers of community pantries.
The official said he is planning to ask AFP members to donate their subsistence allowance for one day to support community pantries.
He added the military would also put up their own community pantries or similar projects.
Civil-Military Office ordered to assist community pantries: Sobejana
Meanwhile, officials and students of the University of the Philippines (UP) on Wednesday strongly condemned the continued red-tagging of the organizers and volunteers of the community pantries that erupted in the midst of the pandemic.
In an online roundtable discussion with the theme “Damayan” organized by the UP Office of Student Regent, UP Chancellor Fidel Nemenzo said that the community pantry is not new because there have always been soup kitchens to provide assistance to students. more in need.
According to Nemenzo, the initiative of the community pantry organizers is commendable.
He said the UP community supports the goal of community pantries to help those in greater need in the midst of the pandemic.
He said that red-tagging is not right and that it has no place in society.
Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte also slammed NTF-ELCAC for allegedly sowing fear among community pantry organizers which were set up around the city.
Belmonte told on The Mangahas Interview that the experience of Ana Patricia Non, the Maginhawa Community Pantry organizer, was not an isolated case.