Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte slammed the National Task Force on Ending the Local Armed Conflict (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.
“What they did was they went around, they asked questions, ang dami kong reports hindi lang ‘yung kay Patricia,” Joy Belmonte said referring to the actions of NTF-ELCAC.
“Marami pang ibang community pantries ang nagsabi sa akin and the result of that was they sowed fear. Naging source of fear sila and apprehension rather than source of safety sa mga tao,” she added.
(There were other community pantries, not just Patricia’s… Many other community pantries talked to me and the result of that was that they sowed fear. They became a source of fear rather than a source of safety for the people.)
Meanwhile, NTF-ELCAC spokesman Lieutenant General Antonio Parlade said communists “had deceptive ways to push our people to the armed struggle.”
Joy Belmonte: NTF-ELCAC sowed fear among community pantry volunteers
“The problem is when you know you are doing something else, other than sharing food, to agitate people to hate the govt or propagandize,” Parlade said.
“Knowing that the communist terrorists have deceptive ways to push our people to the armed struggle then Local Govt Executives should be on the lookout too,” he added.
“At this time of the pandemic we welcome the Bayanihan spirit of Filipinos. But spare them this cheap trick,” Parlade said.
The mayor said she was surprised by the actions of the NTF-ELCAC.
“Because first, they are part of all of the cities’ peace and order council. Tapos we have undergone so much training, kaming mga mayor at ang aming mga local government, pati mga barangay, with regards to the different signs to show or indicate that an act might be an act of the communist or people who want to overthrow the government,” Joy Belmonte said.
“Pero itong mga little things like giving food, ang layo naman niyan sa overthrowing the govt kaya hindi ko rin nakikita kung bakit yung sariling sistemang ipinalaganap ng NTF-ELCAC sa aming mga mayor hindi nila sinundan, hindi sila nakipa-coordinate sa amin, itong simpleng pagbibigay ng pagkain pinagsuspetiyahan. So hindi consistent yung messaging,” she added.