MANILA — From discussing community pantries during oral arguments a few weeks ago to organizing their own, Supreme Court justices on Thursday donated 18 tons of vegetables to 16 community pantries in Metro Manila.
Two trucks dropped off sacks of squash, corn, chilis and other vegetables at the SC compound Thursday morning before they were turned over to representatives of recipient community pantries.
Present during the turnover of the donations were Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo and justices Marvic Leonen, Ramon Paul Hernando, Mario Lopez, Edgardo Delos Santos and Jhosep Lopez.
Senior Associate Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe and Justice Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa also followed.
Sources said personal funds of the magistrates were used in purchasing the vegetables from farmers based in Central Luzon — an idea hatched during a meeting 2 weeks ago.
Among the beneficiaries of the SC community pantry are the indigent ward of the Philippine General Hospital, the Manila Police District and other community pantries in NCR.
The high court did not provide an estimate as to the total cost of the donation and magistrates declined to comment.
In a press statement, the Supreme Court Public Information Office said the event was part of the high court’s commemoration of its 120th anniversary on Friday, calling it “Pagkalinga sa Kapwa.”
Red-tagging of community pantries became a hot topic during oral arguments on the petitions against the Anti-Terrorism Act, with some magistrates questioning actions of some government agencies and officials in linking community pantries to the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army, which the Anti-Terrorism Council has designated as terrorist organizations.