For Army Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade, the community pantry that was set up to help poor people who were severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic is like an apple that Lucifer or Satan, in a form of snake, had offered to Eve.
So who represents Satan then?
“Isang tao lang ‘yan ‘di ba? Si Ana, si Patricia. Same with Satan. Si Satan binigyan ng apple si Eve. Doon lang nagsimula ‘yon (She did it alone right? That Ana Patricia? [It’s the] same with Satan. Satan gave an apple to Eve. It started from there),” Parlade said in an interview over One News on TV5 Tuesday, April 20.
Parlade was referring to Ana Patricia Non, the organizer of the first community pantry on Maginhawa Street in Quezon City which served as the inspiration for other people to set up their own in various parts of the country.
On Tuesday, Non had to temporarily suspend the operation of the community pantry she initiated after she was red-tagged, or branded as having links or a member of the Communist Party of the Philippines-new People’s Army (CPP-NPA). The alleged red-tagging was posted on the Facebook page of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) and was shared by some individuals and groups that include the Quezon City Police District.
Aside from being the commanding general of the Southern Luzon Command, Parlade also serves as one of the spokespersons of the NTF-ELCAC, an anti-communist insurgency task force which was repeatedly criticized before for red-tagging spree.
Parlade was also quoted saying on Tuesday, April 20, that the community pantries could be used by the CPP-NPA to urge people to revolt against the government.
Parlade, however, said they support community initiatives that are meant to help the people affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
However, he noted that it is part of their job to “expose” individuals who are exploiting the community pantry movement to advance their alleged political agenda by supposedly making the government look bad.
“We did not red-tag anybody. We do not use that term because we do not believe it,” Parlade insisted.
The military official claimed that he received messages saying that Non was linked to 26-year-old activist Chad Booc, who was arrested with Lumads in a police operation in Cebu last February 15 on the allegation that he was a “communist child warrior.”
“This person [Ana Patricia Non], I personally don’t know her but I’ve been receiving messages that she was in talks with Chad Booc to put up Alcadev schools, this is her background,” Parlade said.
“We are looking if there’s a connection on the sudden emergence of these [community pantries] in the entire Philippines. It started on April 14 and in a matter of days, there are a lot of them who copied it. It’s all over the country with a similar theme, it looks like it was packaged with the same strategy,” he said.
Non had said that she started the community pantry initiative to help her neighbors on Maginhawa Street in Quezon City. The pantry is loaded with basic necessities such as food, medicines, and personal hygiene products where residents can get them for free while well-meaning individuals can donate supply.
Due to the positive impact it had on the society, more than 300 community pantries were opened up across the country to help those who are in need.
In a virtual press conference on Tuesday, Non acknowledged that the government’s apparent lack of support to communities amid the pandemic inspired her to help the people “in my own little way.”
She also denied being a part of any communist group.
After the Maginhawa community pantry stopped its operations on Tuesday due to red-tagging and profiling of state forces, Non continued the initiative on Wednesday.