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Cebu
Monday, June 14, 2021
CEBU

Bzzzzz: Cebu City 'way ahead' of QC on community pantries. Dizon proposal OKd by Labella last September yet. 'Devil' Non. Illegal STLs in Carreta.

(From left) The Maginhawa Community Pantry in Quezon City, Lieutenant General Antonio Parlade Jr. and Ana Patricia Non. (SunStar File)

Parlade, Non and Satan

ANA Patricia Non, founder of the pioneering and controversial Maginhawa Community Pantry, located along Maginhawa St., Quezon City, did the charity work alone, therefore she is the devil.

Here's how Lieutenant General Antonio Parlade Jr., spokesman of the National Task Force to End Local Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac), uses that argument during an interview with One News Tuesday, April 19: "She did it alone right? That Ana Patricia. Same with Satan. Satan gave an apple to Eve. That's how it started."

The free food supplied by Non's pantry is the apple. Adam is the poor folk who line up for the dole-out. Non has no help. Ergo, she is Satan.

Taxpayers must expect more from a government agency that costs them P19 billion a year. The apparent explanation for demonizing Non: Parlade and NTF-Elcac had linked her and other pantry organizers in other parts of the country to the communist movement.

We created pantry last year

Food pantries or soup kitchens or food banks have long been provided elsewhere, more prevalently in the US. Private organizations usually run them.

In Quezon City, more recently and controversially, Ana Patricia Non's community pantry in Quezon City seized the limelight and sparked similar initiatives in other parts of the country, prompted by the current pandemic.

As early as last year, on August 12, 2020, the Cebu City Council approved an ordinance authored by Cebu City Councilor Alvin Dizon, which would establish a food bank in the city to give food directly. That would have both the "front line" and the "warehouse." The front line is the soup kitchen or community pantry that deals directly with the recipients while the warehouse is the storage of food and other supplies that are given to the front line for distribution. The ordinance adopts both.

Mayor Edgardo Labella signed the ordinance on September 1, 2020.

The status of the project, which the Department of Social Welfare and Development is to manage, is not known. During its session last April 21, Councilor Dizon sadly noted in a privileged speech, "To date, despite the urgency for the ordinance to be operational so that none of our brothers and sisters will go to bed hungry, our food bank ordinance remains unimplemented."

Cebu City was way ahead of Quezon City on community pantries. It had its equivalent of one as early as September last year -- on paper.

P.S. Kons Dizon was not being Satanic in proposing the food bank. It's the government doing it. Or so it must be under General Parlade's reasoning.

STL is "illegal" in Cebu

Mariano Ando, Carreta barangay captain, complained Wednesday, April 21, to the Cebu City Council that he and his fellow officials are being crucified by residents for the proliferation of STL (small town lotto) in that barangay and accused of receiving bribe from the operators.

They are not sure if STL is illegal or not, Ando said. In the same Sanggunian session, a representative of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) confirmed that there is yet no authorized STL operation in Cebu. There used to be but the grantee failed to meet the sales quota and the grant was revoked. It has been open since then for new applications.

The STL games in Carreta or anywhere in Cebu are illegal, but only because they are not covered by a license from PCSO.

Still, the Sanggunian decided to ask the city mayor to stop all forms of illegal gambling in the city. The generalized, shotgun-style response is apparently due to the disturbing fact that they didn't know if the mayor was doing something about the STL games in Carreta, which the local barangay officials said they could not stop.

Yes, the police were informed about the illegality of STL in Cebu. Yes, Ando said, the STL games in his barangay are unstoppable. Meaning, Vice Mayor Mike Rama said, somebody must be making money.

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