Mariannet Amper is a sixth-grader at the Ma-a Central School in Davao on Nov. 2, 2007 All Soul’s Day Marianet committed suicide by hanging. She left a note saying, in effect, that she decided to end it all because of poverty.
Indeed have we grown numb and accustomed to the stark realities of poverty staring us in the face that we have loss our compassion as a people due to apathy and hopelessness? Poverty is all around us as Dominique describes that oftentimes we see the poor hopeless people tugging and begging for alms as simply an urban nuisance if not invisible in our numb consciousness desperately ignoring reality for what it is.
This is so surreal, but the reality is suicide and suicidal tendencies indeed do occur not just among older people but children as well. As much as we want to grasp what went wrong there is really no definite or easy answer why it happened and to a young girl of 12 at that is truly tragic.
Children are definitely casualties of poverty in the Philippines and hopefully the tragic death of Mariannet Amper will serve as a catalyst for our politicians to re-examine their priorities and sense of accountability.
This is really tragic and as Dominique poignantly puts it:
And there's the rub. Culturally, we're predisposed towards powerful emotional images. But not so towards the real and difficult work that goes to the organization necessary to fix our broken society. We want a magic wand to make it all go away. "Now na!" Otherwise, we're not really interested: "Ang hirap kasi, eh. Trabaho iyan ng gobyerno."
So instead of substantial change, in a few weeks' time, we will simply move on to the next stark and powerful emotional image, except...darker! bloodier! more spectacular! more tragic! more dramatic! more heart-wrenching! and most importantly, more entertaining!
Indeed sad but true, we just move on from one tragic emotional heart wrenching episode after episodes with no substantial change to show for our anguished emotional outburst. Just like the case of Cecil Grecil tagged by the military as a child combatant murdered senseless because they are expendable poor people who we seem to have forgotten as more powerful image are shoved to us by sensationalized media out to feed us with more “entertainment”.
I agree with La Presidenta de NBN that politics is one of the causes of Marianet Amper and Dalaig’s death, unfortunately it stops there because she has the audacity to separate herself from the very evil she blames when she is the head politician of the nation. She arrogantly blames her political rivals and enemies of political posturing as if she is not guilty of it comes as no surprise from someone whose credibility is zilch.
Yes, too much politics is one of the culprits especially the kind of politics that we see La presidenta, her kuligs errr colleagues and the opportunist errr opposition play in the land of cheats where compromise is akin to criminal conspiracy. Corruption and corrupted political practices where vested interest takes precedence over the common good has reduced the nation to exporters of modern day slaves with peddlers of human miseries in a feeding frenzy of unimaginable proportion in human degradation and exploitation.
There are so many questions propping up in this issue and Sassy Lawyer had a very interesting take from a mother’s perspective which I quote:
We witness these realities every day. Low grades are a stigma; high grades are the passport to a lucrative future. But do we always know at what cost a child achieves those high grades? A domineering 13-year-old boy, for instance, in order to meet his parent’s demands, resorts to cheating by bribing and browbeating classmates to do his projects in subjects where he is weak. Emotional blackmail is another student’s technique. Others are not even all that imaginative—they just copy their classmates’ homework and test answers. High school and college students have become adept at plagiarizing to come up with impressive research papers. Should we wonder at all why there is an industry that specializes in doctored transcript of records and another that sells diplomas that look like the real thing?
A glimpse at the populations mindset perhaps in the way we have been mismanaged by our politicians that the culture of cheating has infected our young people like a plague? All valid questions but what haunts me is the question posed by Dominique… US. What are we doing about it such as what in particular are we doing in our own communities or as a blogger what can we do or should be doing to make a difference against the onslaught of poverty.
suicide children of poverty Mariannet Amper