But Marianeth did not live a normal life. Hers was a life of poverty much too burdensome for her young mind and heart to take. Sadly, millions of children in the country are suffering from the same impoverished life that Marianeth have forsaken. Many like her are victims of the rotten system made worst by the corrupt and immoral leadership in the country.
In the city streets alone, one would find children as young as three begging for alms, while the older kids would be sniffing rugby, and some girls as young as nine are forced into prostitution. In the countryside, children die every day due to supposedly curable diseases, extreme poverty or by man-made calamities.
Though we regret that Marianeth’s case is not isolated at all; acceptance of such reality is a must if we wish to decisively fight the root causes that led to such a pitiful end.
Marianeth’s death is a crude wake- up call; a strong statement about the harsh poverty that the present generation of children is facing, a grim warning that the coming generations are to face a much worst plight.
May Marianeth’s death awaken a social consciousness for the continued advancement of the fight for a free, peaceful and just society for all children.
A crucial part of this fight is to accept the truth which the government cowardly shuns. May Marianeth’s ungranted wishes urge us to determinedly weed out the poverty that is caused because of the institutionalized exploitation of the poor by the moneyed and the powerful.
Our grief and sympathies go to the bereaved family and to all the children who are victims of a socio-political system that deprives children of the basic rights to a healthy and peaceful life.
Justice to all children who are made impoverished due to the corrupt and insatiably greedy that monopolizes our country’s wealth.
PASAKA (Confederation of Lumad Organizations in Southern Mindanao)