7 ‘reasons’ why gov’t fears community pantries | Inquirer Opinion
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FLEA MARKET OF IDEAS

7 ‘reasons’ why gov’t fears community pantries

It was a very simple act. A young woman brought out a small bamboo cart filled with fresh vegetables, canned goods, and other essentials. On cardboard pieces, she scribbled “Community Pantry” and the very plain words that would soon ignite a national movement: “Magbigay ayon sa kakayahan. Kumuha ayon sa pangangailangan (Take what you need. Give what you can).”

Not even the most clever advertising company or the most astute political propagandist could have anticipated that the modest act of 26-year-old Ana Patricia “Patreng” Non would electrify the whole nation. In just one week, some 350 community pantries sprouted all over the country, from Northern Luzon to Mindanao, and new pantries are multiplying daily at an extraordinary rate. There are throngs of people who line up every day as beneficiaries of these free food stalls, and there’s been no shortage of benefactors who also replenish the supplies daily. Patreng’s pantry has generated donors from the United States, and the idea has been duplicated in Timor Leste. I wouldn’t be surprised if community pantries will start emerging in more countries soon.

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But, instead of Patreng garnering praise for rousing people with the means to help people in dire need, she has been attacked with such bile and venom by the spokespersons of the government task force involved in the bloody campaign against alleged communist rebels — Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. and Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy.

At a time when dubious “nanlaban” deaths are increasing among the ranks of political activists branded as communists by the government, Patreng was brazenly and falsely accused by Badoy of being a member of a communist organization, Badoy even loudly insinuating that Patreng is untrustworthy of handling donations. Parlade ridiculously declared that Patreng’s act of providing food for the hungry could be no different from Satan’s act of giving the forbidden fruit to Eve.

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Why is the noblest of deeds that has come out in this unprecedented time of great need being thrashed by leaders who should be showing gratitude for such initiatives, because they’re lending support to government efforts of bringing aid to our hungry?

The attacks against community pantries are disgracefully absurd. The reasons that impel these attacks must surely be shamefully ludicrous. I will venture to guess the preposterous reasons why the government is afraid of community pantries, and why it has unleashed its attack dogs to try to scare away their organizers:

1. Parlade and Badoy are communist recruiters in reality, their mission being to make more people get angry at the government and to make them join the revolution to overthrow it, so that our country can finally become a communist state.

2. The spread of community pantries will hasten the return of Jesus Christ, the original instigator of this movement who performed the miracle of the five loaves and two fishes. His comeback will mean judgment for those who called Him a “stupid God,” including their followers. 3. If community pantries continue to multiply, there will be no need for government relief goods. This will spell the extinction of “wink! wink!” deals in billions of government purchases.

4. Parlade and Badoy get their salaries based on the number of trolls who “like” or “share” their media statements. The crazier their utterances are, the more troll followers they get, which then translates into a bonanza of bonuses.

5. The government has discovered that vegetables distributed in community pantries contain genetically modified organisms developed by communist rebels. When consumed by the masses, they become communist zombies mouthing “Makibaka! Huwag matakot!”

6. If the masses end up being well-fed because of community pantries, there will no longer be hungry voters in next year’s elections. This will jeopardize the dependable system of competitive vote-buying that has ensured fair, honest, and peaceful elections in our country since time immemorial.

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7. Government propagandists erroneously read “community pantry” as “community panty.” They think it’s a movement promoting orgies, thus violating good morals and right conduct.

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