Sunday, February 22, 2015


THE tragedy in Mamasapano, Maguindanao claimed the lives of 44 of the country’s elite policemen, 18 members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and some civilians.

One of those who died was an eight-year old girl named Sarah.

Here’s something about Sarah from Hussein Macarambon’s Facebook:

“ At a forum organized by advocates of peace for Mindanao, the room started to get filled with a terrible feeling of sadness. Stories evoked tears when people who have followed the Mamasapano incident, on the ground or from afar, attempted to describe the pain and grief felt by many, especially the bereaved families of the 67 casualties- families of the 44 SAF troops, of the 5 civilians, and of the 18 MILF combatants.

“One of them lost the youngest victim, an eight-year old girl called Sarah. Her family was roused from sleep by the sound of bullets that had hit them. They survived. Sarah did not.

“ Sarah’s story made me sad not only because she was killed, but also because she could not speak. She had speech impairment, a muteness that must have caused her life to be quite difficult. She must have had a difficult time being a young girl, being teased at school or by the neighbors. She could not tell them that what they were doing was hurtful, just as she was not able to express the physical pain that she felt right before her final breath. I did not know her when she was alive and was not told if she could hear, maybe she had hearing disability as well. If she did, then she was spared from the screams and wails by her mother and her father that drowned the thunderous sound of gunfight that dreadful early morning on January 25.

“ The saddest thing about her story was the lack of a face to remember. She never had a photo when she was alive. Her parents could not afford a camera to snap a shot to remember her by. They could not give news reporters or government officials a photograph of her to put a young girl’s face on her story.

“And I weep for her. I weep for her parents who will one day only have traces of memory of the contours of her face, of that youthful smile and of those longing eyes. Her parents would never want to forget about her, but without a picture, memory will one day fail them.

“To many of us, Sarah, the faceless girl from Mamasapano, will be forgotten.”

No, Sarah will not be forgotten.

Share and let Sarah’s voice be heard.

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