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Lost Unbound

We were talking about that very disastrous earthquake in Turkey and Syria. It was so disastrous that it spanned two nations and tremors were felt down Lebanon and Israel. News has it that thousands have been reported to have died. I guess even the embassy’s hands are tied because even their own walls have crumbled upon them. Let’s pause in prayers for them.

Then the conversation swung to the local front with the news that a certain female college student has been reported missing… again. No, the female student has not been missing twice. I mean, another young person is reported missing after the numerous similar cases of youth not going home and their families in distress.

It would be insensitive to call this a trend but this wave of cases started to make buzz supposedly, around the second quarter of last year (or somewhere around that time). There had been some reports or rumors of female high school or college students experiencing attempted abductions. Once again, I would not want to come as insensitive and unsympathetic but the accounts lingered between real and rumor that the public could not decide to take it with action or apathy. Some of the rumored cases lacked documented police reports and sufficient witnesses that they could be considered as cautionary tales crafted for children to come home early. Some purported eyewitnesses insist, but evidence was insufficient. (Not that we’re saying that they were lying, but there was not enough circumstances to support the supposed incidents. All that came to a head in early November last year when our faces were slapped with that earth shattering disaster of an actual rape and murder case with an actual and undeniable body of evidence. That time, it was real, inarguably real. The tragedy was stomped on its guts to be more tragic with confusing circumstances and an investigation which was marred with doubts because it was rushed to closure because the cops were allegedly tired. Who now has the energy and strength to carry out a trustworthy investigation?

There were missing student (usually female) cases after that, but none paralleled the gravity of that tragedy. Now, here comes another one, or shall I say, there have been several ones.

On the other end of the spectrum, there were missing cases which ended in a whimper after so much media and public hyperbole. There was a case of missing female student who after having been unaccounted for days, was traced in some room with her boyfriend. For days, she was all over Facebook, then it turned out that it had been a voluntary act all along. She must have gotten a sharp pinching from her embarrassed mother. Just recently, a male high school student was reported missing. (This was unusual because the missing teen was male, but still, he was missing.) Social media was swarmed with support and sympathy. It was a good thing that he was quickly found in a nearby town. He seemed to just have wandered off by foo, with no clear purpose or direction. (if I were running away from home, I would have hitched on a bus to Manila.) The boy seemed to have some emotional stress that he seemed to have just wanted to walk away to wherever his feet would take him. So, if you automatically think of kidnapping, rape, human trafficking or murder when you hear of missing teens (which I don’t blame you for) you might want to consider those incidents.

More than once that I have heard people attribute such cases to behavior of young people in this age group, especially the females. They would say that female teens or young adults seem to invite abduction or abuse with the way they dress (or the shortage thereof) and the way that they conduct themselves in public, in malls on the streets. What they’re saying is – with all that flesh showing, any man (presumably) would naturally be tempted to take illicit action. That argument seems sound and acceptable to some people. It may seem reasonable that one’s actions and decisions have an effect to the community. If a woman walks along the street in sexy underwear, would it be justified for men standing by on the corner store to forcibly pull her inside some room? If some guy walks around with one thousand peso bills hanging around his belt, would it be justified for onlookers to pull those bills for themselves? If some house were left open, would it be justified for some passerby to enter and take whatever he wants? Of course, NOT.

My suspicion is that each missing youth case is unique in its own which comes with layers of emotional and mental stress, indifference to reasonable discretion, unstable familial relations, weak respect for authority, lack of prime prevention and multiple other facets of society.

““My people have become lost sheep; Their shepherds have led them astray.” Jeremiah 50:6


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