“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31:8-9

March 15, 2013.

A fellow UP student from the Manila campus has been found dead at 3 in the morning. She was not a victim of a crime such as murder, rape, or theft. But she is a victim of being stolen of her rights to education.

This said student had committed suicide. She was unable to pay her tuition in full, so she was forced to file a leave of absence. She was forced to leave school because she did not have enough money. She appealed to the university officials for late payment, but she was denied of it. Both of her parents’ jobs were not paying high enough for her to pay her tuition in full in one giving, but they could, just not right away. If only she were given the chance.

I am saddened by the fact that this girl who could have been a great contributor to her family, a girl who could have made all her goals accomplished, had to take her life. My heart cries out to her family, friends, and all her loved ones. Yes, there could have been alternatives, but not everyone is strong enough to withstand the pressure and pain. Things could have turned out differently, but what’s done is done.

Now, what can we do? Education is a right, not a privilege. Education should enrich, and is not just for the rich. To my dear university – the so called premiere university of our country – University of the Philippines, please hear our plea. How many students must take away their lives for the system to realize that it’s dysfunctional?

I know that everything happens for a reason, and it’s God’s will that shall prevail. And He’s told us to give a voice to the voiceless, and help our brothers and sisters in need. So why not do something to help? A big change may not happen over night, but a few small chain reactions may spark it up.

Will you join our fight for the right to be free? Let’s not turn a blind eye anymore. This is real. Let’s do something to help the family this student had left. Let us help students to prevent more of this happening. Let us do something to vanquish the reason why things like this happen.

Lord, help us not lose sight of what we’re fighting for. Let us not turn to desperate ways, but may we turn to you. No evil can stand against you. Lord, you are by our side and nothing will come against us. Bless the ideas we have in mind. Let them be not in vain. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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