Taking to Facebook to urge people not to assume that their condition and experiences in Mindanao apply to all the residents of Mindanao, Omid Siahmard said, “Your experience can’t represent the experience of others, but your voice can.”
While you might feel safe under the martial law in Mindanao, that might not exactly be how other Mindanaoans felt.
“The uncle of one of my friends died because of the AFP’s air strikes. So when you type “We feel safe in Mindanao” edit it to “I feel safe in Mindanao.” What you feel does not, in any way, represent what other Mindanaoans feel,” Siahmard wrote.
“Mindanao is not a 50-square-meter island where the experience of one is the experience of all others. When some people of Davao, of Kidapawan, of GenSan say that they all feel safe and there is nothing wrong with the military in Mindanao, it does not follow that all people of Marawi, of Bukidnon, of Arakan, of Magpet also feel the same way,” he added.
Siahmard once again reminded that one’s experience is not exactly similar as those who still have to fight for their land and for their meals.
“When you say that “there is nothing wrong with the military here, we feel safer,” remember that you are only speaking in behalf of yourself and not of all Mindanaoans. You are speaking as an individual who doesn’t need to fight for your land for you to survive. You are speaking as an individual who doesn’t need to form picket lines for you to eat three times a day. But remember that many communities in Mindanao need to do those things,” he said.
He noted how some people are now protesting against aerial bombing without waiting for bodies to drop, although people still died and are now labelled as “collateral damage.”
Siahmard urged everyone to use their voice as it can help represent the people of Mindanao.
“Good for you if you are not vulnerable from the attacks, but some are. Your experience can’t represent the experience of others, but your voice can. Use it,” he said.
As of writing, Siahmard’s post has been shared over 1,700 times and reacted to 3,300 times. It has also elicited different reactions in the comments section.