Red-tagged Senate employees’ union sets up community pantry

Published April 27, 2021, 1:39 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Despite being red-tagged by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), the Senate employees’ union had set up a community pantry within the Senate’s vicinity to help nearby residents in Pasay City.

Members of the SENADO, the union of Senate employees, set up their own community pantry outside the Senate compound in Pasay City on Tuesday, April 27, 2021. Senators earlier defended the employees’ union after being linked by government anti-insurgency officials to communist rebels. (Screencap from sourced video)

Among those who were beneficiaries of the Sandigan ng mga Empleyadong Nagkakaisa sa Adhikain ng Demokratikong Organisasyon (SENADO) were the janitors and blue guards of the Upper Chamber who were deeply affected during the one-month lockdown in March to mid-April after many of their employees tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19).

“We must redefine our role as public servants and broaden the meaning of delivery of public service,” said Rosel Eugenio, the union’s president.

“Our community pantry is a continuing effort of the union to serve the employees and the people under our project DAMAYAN, which has been in action for a long time and enhanced under our new program, ‘Sagip Kawani, Sagip Mamamayan’,” she said.

The Senate leadership earlier defended the Senate employees’ union after NTF-ELCAC spokesperson Lorraine Badoy and National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) Director General Alex Paul Monteagudo tagged the SENADO as the “eyes and ears” of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) at the Senate.|

Senate President Vicente Sotto III said that due to the profiling of the Senate employees’ union, he is now inclined to support the bill seeking to criminalize red-tagging.

Other senators who slammed the red-tagging of Senate employees were Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, Risa Hontiveros, Leial de Lima and Francis Pangilinan, Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III and Sen. Panfilo Lacson.

The senators also slammed the NTF-ELCAC spokesperson Antonio Parlade, Jr. for profiling organizers of the community pantries that have sprouted up in various parts of Metro Manila and nearby provinces and likening their initiative to “Satan.”