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Loren blames hunger, poverty for many suicides, parricides

January 25, 2010

MOVED BY THE REPORT OF A MOTHER JUMPING INTO THE PASIG RIVER WITH HER TWO SMALL CHILDREN, SEN. LOREN LEGARDA YESTERDAY BLAMED INCREASING HUNGER AND POVERTY FOR THE INCREASING CASES OF SUICIDES AND PARRICIDES INVOLVING PARENTS AND CHILDREN IN THE PHILIPPINES.
“Hunger and intolerable hardships drove these women to such acts of desperation that are contrary to their natural instincts to care for their children in the hope of saving their children from suffering more pain and hunger,” said Loren.
“That is why,” she said, “the next administration should exert utmost efforts to eliminate if not reduce poverty and hunger, and end this desperation that is afflicting many of our families and parents. That should be our priority.”
Loren deplored that in the last quarter of 2009 the number of families experiencing hunger had increased to a new record high of 24 percent of the entire population or 4.4 million households as found by a survey of the Social Weather Stations.
The survey also found that 46% (an estimated 8.5 million) families considered themselves as poor and 39% (estimated 7.1 million) considered themselves as “food poor” (chronically hungry or undernourished).
Loren was reacting to the news item that a 40-year-old woman threw herself with her two young daughters, aged 5 and 8, respectively, off the Del Pan bridge in Manila last week. The mother was rescued by a scavenger, while the five-year-old daughter was later found drown, and her sister missing.
When questioned by police, the mother, Mimi Velarde Abila, said, “Hindi ko na kaya ang mga problema namin sa buhay at ang problema sa bansa. Sobrang hirap na natin (I could no longer bear the problems of our family and that of the country. We are so poor).”