The Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines has asked authorities to support those behind the community pantries instead of red-tagging them.
“Our people need help. Our good women and men have responded to that call for help. The least we can do is support them and not red-tag them,” the group said in a statement
“How can decent, upright individuals malign an effort to provide succor and comfort to their fellow human beings? It is not wrong to love. It not wrong to care,” added AMRSP.
The group said to love and care for the other and to act in solidarity with the poor are Christian acts and deeds worthy of emulation.
“We remind those in power that they are servants – not masters – of the people. People are tired of quarantines. People have lost jobs and loved ones. People are hungry. People are in distress,” AMRSP said.
“Instead of harassing, maligning and belittling these innocent community efforts, we challenge those in authority to join and be a part of it. After all, power has been given to you for you to serve, not to be served,” added the group.
Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David also urged those involved in red-tagging to spare the initiatives aimed at helping people by donating food and other essentials.
“‘Bayanihan’ is not a crime. Aren’t you thankful that people are voluntarily helping each other?” he said in a CBCP News post.
“You can also take what you need and give what you can,” added David.
The Maginhawa Community Pantry has temporarily paused operations on Tuesday due to organizer Ana Patricia Non’s concern of red-tagging.
Non cited a Facebook by the Quezon City Police District and the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict that linked the initiative to the communist movement.