What pushes an 11-year old girl to commit suicide? What squeezed the last drop of hope from a Grade 6 pupil that she despaired so much and hanged herself? Mariannet Amper said poverty did.
At the very center of today’s Inquirer front page is the story of Mariannet Amper, an 11 year old girl from Maa, Davao City. The story is screaming. It is heartbreaking.
While all of us were busy remembering our dead loved ones last November 2, Mariannet took a length of rope, tied it around her neck and hanged herself. Her father father, Isabelo said that Mariannet asked him for P100 that she needed for a school project that needed to be submitted last November 5. He asked her to ask her mother as he did not have money. He later went to borrow P1,000 but when he came home Mariannet was already dead.
Under her pillow they found her diary and an unsent letter to Vicky Morales of Wish Ko Lang. Mariannet did not ask for much, all she asked were a bike, a school bag and work for her parents. she wrote:
Gusto ko na makatapos ako sa pag-aaral at gustong-gusto ko na makabili ng bagong bike
In her diary Mariannet wrote that she stopped counting her absences in school. Her father said that Mariannet and her younger brother Reynald skipped school for 3 days because they do not have money for “baon” and he did not want them to walk to school. Three days for Mariannet seemed a long time as she wrote in her diary -
Parang isang buwan na kaming absent. Hindi na kasi namin binibilang ang absent ko. Hindi ko namalayan na malapit na pala ang Pasko..
Another entry in her diary says:
Hindi kami nakapagsimba dahil wala kaming pamasahe at nilalagnat pa ang aking tatay kaya naglaba na lang kami ng aking nanay
Isabelo Amper is jobless most of the time. Her mother works as a laundry woman and a repacker in a noodles factory. They live in a house that do not have electricity nor running water.
What do you call a society that drives an 11 year old to commit suicide out of desperation and hopelessness? The Gloria’s henchmen say its an isolated case. In a separate article on the same newspaper, Gloria was boasting of a decrease in the number of families that say they are poor and ordered the additional allocation of P1B for poverty reduction programs. Where were you Ate Glo when Mariannet needed P100 that could have possibly given her a glimmer of hope? Where were your billions of pesos when she needed only P100?
The International Policy Research Institute of the United Nation says that 11 Million Filipinos live on less that $1 a day. How many Mariannet’s are still around us waiting for the last glimmer of hope to fade?
How many Mariannets does this government need to accept that abject poverty is real and it kills. How many times does Mariannet need to hang herself out of desperation before government will stop calling her death an isolated case?
Filed under: AKBAYAN stuff