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Suicide caused by many factors, not heroic

/ 08:13 PM September 29, 2013

I write in reaction to the  Inquirer’s Aug. 11 editorial (“Kristel’s legacy”) on the life of a UP Manila student that ended in tragedy.

Firstly, let me cite that various studies have already clarified that suicide is a complex phenomenon that is a result of an interplay of multiple factors. The filing of a leave of absence, in compliance with university policies, could not be isolated as the main cause of this tragedy. In fact, the suicide note never even mentioned tuition as a factor. In addition, various local and foreign authorities have repeatedly advised that suicide incidents should not be glamorized. These evidence-based studies by experts are adequately documented.

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Let me also state that there are available loans and financial programs, aside from the Socialized Tuition and Financial Assistance Program, that needy and poor students in UP Manila could avail themselves of. Appropriate requirements and forms should just be complied with or filled out and filed accordingly. These mechanisms were in place even before this unfortunate incident happened.

Finally, we find the editorial’s use of the term “legacy” inappropriate. I firmly believe that the decision of the student to end her life should not be deemed as a heroic action worthy of emulation.

—MANUEL B. AGULTO, MD,

chancellor,

University of the Philippines Manila,

PGH Complex, Taft Avenue, Manila

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TAGS: education, Kristel Tejada, nation, news, Poverty
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