Police allegedly called out the community pantry of a group of farmers in Quezon province and removed them from the post because it would cause a gathering of people.
The Tadhana Community Farmers Association has set up a community pantry in Lucena City – based on the idea of pantries that have sprung up in various parts of the country – that distributes vegetables and food to help those in need during the pandemic.
It will be recalled that this initiative started at the Maginhawa community pantry in Quezon City.
According to Tadhana, they have stationed opposite a restaurant on Quezon Avenue in Lucena City on Tuesday after the owner of the restaurant allowed them to set up the community pantry there.
They also allegedly asked for permission from the Quezon IATF on COVID-19 and they were also allowed.
The group added that they also ensured that health protocols would be followed.
However, police allegedly approached them on Tuesday -after an hour of distributing vegetables -and charged the group.
According to Efrelyn Escultura of the Tadhana Community Farmers Association, the police told them that it is not allowed on Quezon Avenue in Lucena City.
Cops called out community pantry in Lucena City, Quezon
They also said that the group did not coordinate with them and asked them for a permit.
The group allegedly begged them to finish the distribution first and leave. But the police refused.
They even threatened to confiscate the vegetables so they were forced to leave.
But according to Police Colonel Romulo Albacea, chief of Police of Lucena City, they did not seek a permit from the group. They were picked up because they were in the middle of the city which is a business zone and there were always a lot of people in the area so they would quickly crowd if there was an obstruction.
In addition, the social distancing of the people who lined up in the community pantry is not being followed.
According to Albacea, it would be better if the group just went to barangays or areas where there are many in need.
Their office is said to be ready to help distribute aid. He said the PNP can also lend a vehicle that the group can use to bring aid to the barangay.
Tadhana just wrapped the vegetables and they went around Lucena City to distribute.