MAMASAPANO, Maguindanao (MindaNews/19 January) – The widow of a farmer who was among the civilian casualties in the encounter in a village here on Jan. 25 last year is seeking employment abroad to bring out her family from extreme poverty.
For Sarah Langayen, 20, whose husband Badrudin died in the carnage, her focus now is to raise her two young children and provide them decent lives.
Anytime this month, Langayen is scheduled to fly to Oman to work as house help and fight loneliness of being away from her children rather than see them live a difficult life.
Badrudin was found dead, his body riddled with bullets, in the aftermath of the bloody encounter between police commandos and Moro rebels in Barangay Tukanalipao on Jan. 25 last year.
Her husband was among the five civilian casualties in the covert police operation against Malaysian bomber Zulkifli bin Hir.
Forty-four members of the Special Action Force and 17 Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters also died in the clash
Her mother will take care of her children while she’s away, Langayen said in an interview.
She said the government aid she received after her husband died was not enough to improve her family’s living conditions.
With no farm to cultivate and with limited educational attainment, Langayen considered working abroad as the only way to end poverty.
While she appreciated the financial and material aid from government and nongovernment organizations, Langayen stressed her family cannot rely on dole-outs forever.
“Life remains the same, it is still difficult,” she said.
She wanted to leave Mamasapano after her overseas stint since the pain of losing a loved one will always haunt her and the children.
She said she’s no longer hoping for justice and only wanted to repair the dilapidated hut built by her husband and send her two girls to school until they finish college.
She added that when she returns from abroad she wishes to see the Mamasapano tragedy a closed chapter of her life so she could move on. (Ferdinandh Cabrera/MindaNews)