Friday, November 09, 2007

Marianette Amper, 12

Taken from

12-year-old girl commits suicide in Davao

Poverty apparently drove a 12-year-old girl to commit suicide in Davao City, ABS-CBN Regional Network Group reported.

Marianette Amper, hanged herself with the use of a nylon cord around 3 p.m. on November 2 inside their residence at Barangay Ma-a.

Amper’s younger brother Reynald was the first to witness the incident.

"Nakita ko pa siya na nanginginig. May hinahawakan siyang relo. Puputulin ko sana ang lubid pero di ko kaya..tumakbo na lang ako palabas ng bahay para humingi ng tulong.."

Amper died while being rushed to the Davao Medical Center, reports said.

A diary retrieved from the victim’s room indicated that the girl was deeply affected with their extreme poverty and her parents’ arguments.

In an entry on October 6, the girl wrote on her diary that she had been absent in school for almost a month for lack of transportation fare.

She also told one of her classmates that her mother scolded her when she insisted on working for a noodle factory to help sustain the family.

Amper’s parents have no permanent work and are reportedly earning P200 a week or P40 a day.

Meanwhile, Davao City Councilor Leo Avila said Amper’s suicide was a symbol of extreme poverty and appealed to the government to address the problem.


My heart bleeds for the loss of a poor sould whose only wish was to be able to get to school everyday so that she could study and finish her education. How many more Marianette Ampers out there should commit suicide for the government to realize that poverty has risen to an alerting level?

Marianette just made a perfect timing to bring about the real general picture of the current socio-political and economic situation, and also illustrating the widening gap between the rich and the poor. While Governonrs, Congressmen and other stakeholders relish the luxuries and gains of an overpriced project, or squander the cash gifts that were delivered in paper bags, people like Marianette Amper suffer in extreme poverty and despair.

In Marianette's incident, not only did we see a direct hit on the current administration's neglect for the poor and the grassroots, but it also made and indirect hit on the people's apathy for the poor. The bishops were correct when they said that all of us were to blame on Marianette's death. The incident also shows that society nowadays is more alienating than before, leading to a series of suicides, most recently of Marianette's. I learned from my Psychology class that suicide is a product not of poverty, anger, or despair, but largely a product of loneliness and alienation. Should she have had someone to lean on during her most dire times, suicide could have been prevented. This time, she found no one else to turn to, thus leading to the events that transpired on that fateful All Soul's Day afternoon. She almost found hope in writing to GMA's Wish ko Lang, but probably she thought that if she had no money to go to school, how then could she afford mail delivery?

If this really were a wake-up call, I hope somebody significant wakes up...

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