There are millions of Mariannets

November 10, 2007. The way the government is handling the issue of Mariannet Amper, the 11 year-old girl from Davao who hanged herself because of her family’s impoverished situation, is very typical of the establishment’s pattern of covering up for the consequences of its evils and its other such shortcomings.

Unfortunately some people readily buy these spins. Primary of such spins is to dismiss the entire issue as an isolated case, and to trivialize the girl’s reasons for committing suicide as largely personal and psychological. And to match such issues with the harping of news that proclaim economic progress by the numbers–numbers that are largely intangible to the vast number of impoverished Filipinos. Too bad the benefits of the apparent strength of the peso, or the booming stock market didn’t “trickle down” to the Amper family, huh, Ms President?

You know what’s worse, the President has used this issue as an instrument and as a reason to hasten the implementation of her highly-controversial, corruption-laden Cyber Education Project, a sister project of the highly-controversial ZTE National Broadband Network Project. You know, these kinds of spins fuel the mentality that blames the poor for their misery because they are lazy, because they are born poor, because they have too many children, that’s the way it is, etcetera. Bullshit. Think what this kind of mentality leads you to do. Nothing. This kind of mentality only leads you to go on with your middle class life. To be purely guiltless. These spins only serve the prevailing order. I would like to echo what Anton said regarding this issue:

In our present society, everyone and everything can be grouped into two: those who support the status quo in their actions, and those who oppose it in their actions. while some peasants certainly spend their lives praying that the afterlife is somewhat better, there are those who realize that it was not ordained by the heavens that they should be slave to some master. while some workers spend their lives in diversions to the misery of their existences, some try to smash the instruments of their misery. and while some students spend their time trying to feel good here in multiply, some are trying to use this very instrument to enlighten others. there is no neutrality. no one put the noose around mariannet’s neck. no one told her to jump. but certain people made her short life miserable, and they can be divided into two categories: first, the ones who are in power and who make the policies of our country. second, the ones who just watch by.

Indeed it is not enough for one to feel sad or angry over the tragedy. There’s a prevailing order that sustains these conditions and tragedies. And there are collective ways of challenging this status quo.

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