After getting much attention, the local authorities in Davao City now downplays the death of a 12-year-old girl, Mariannet Amper, as not aggravated by her family’s poverty(photo above). Instead, they insisted the girl could have been raped prompting her to hung herself.
City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said in this report. He was quoted is similar report as saying;
“It’s not fair to us, it’s not fair to the girl who died, it’s not fair to the Filipino people because you are covering the truth,” Duterte said. “If there’s poverty in our midst, it’s not the fault of the city government of Davao, we are not the captain of the ship, it’s Manila”
His reaction is typical to that of local politicians in defensive position. Of course, refusing to take responsibility to their failures, much more of a death aggravated by poverty, is expected rather than unexpected ones. No politicians and leaders admit mistakes damaging to their own selves.
What has become for local officials is that they rather defends and justifies themselves instead of acting on the problem, and to acknowledge it. My cousin, Maricel and her son, died aggravated by lack of food and abject poverty, but the local government in General Santos City too, where they resides, have also refused to take responsibility. They put the blame on her relatives.
Whether or not Mariannet commits suicide aggravated by her family’s poverty; still her family’s condition is undeniably in abject poverty. The motivation of her death cannot correct or denies anything about the abject poverty they are into.
As mentioned in her school diary before she died, she and her brother hardly had allowance for their transportation going to school, buy food to eat, and sometimes forced to absent from going to school.
Mayor Duterte yet again, like other local officials who have failed their constituents, put blame on other government agencies for the continuing poverty by some residents in his city, if not for the girl’s death.
It’s a fact of life in the Philippines. Nobody takes responsibility to anybody, even government officials and the concerned agencies who are supposed to ensure the welfare of its citizens.
The message there was clear: clean up your own mess.