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Youth group AGHAM - Advocates of Science and Technology for the People

Youth scientist demanded release of “peoples’ physicist”

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Youth group AGHAM – Advocates of Science and Technology for the People demanded the  immediate release and the dismissal of the trumped-up charges filed against Kim Gargar last October 5.

Youth group AGHAM - Advocates of Science and Technology for the People
Youth group AGHAM – Advocates of Science and Technology for the People

Gargar was said to be caught in a crossfire between government soldiers and NPA rebels, while undertaking a research in connection with rehabilitation efforts on the impacts of Typhoon Pablo in Cateel, Davao Oriental, by the elements of the 67th Infantry Battalion of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Kim was found 1.5 kilometers away from the encounter site injured as he leapt to a gully when he heard shots while he was preparing to observe fireflies in the area as part of a reforestation and rehabilitation project by Panalipdan Southern Mindanao.

Kim Gargar
Kim Gargar

Kim graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in BS Physics and as Class Valedictorian of the Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology and went to UP Diliman in 2001 to study and teach. He became a volunteer physicist of AGHAM – Advocates of Science and Technology for the People since then. He later taught aspiring physicists at the MAPUA Institute of Technology and the Polytechnic University of the Philippines and continued his studies as a PhD student of chronobiology at the University of Groningen.

He came back early this year and joined the Center for Environmental Concerns where he was active in different environmental investigative missions. When he personally witnessed the plight of his fellow Mindanaoenos when he was sent to join a humanitarian and fact finding mission last April 18-20, 2013, he wanted to return to Davao to help those who were affected by Typhoon Pablo. Upon his request, Kim was temporarily seconded to Panalipdan Southern Mindanao to be allowed to directly contribute to restoration efforts.

The military claim that Kim joined the NPA in 2012 is not true. He was still doing his dissertation in Groningen last year and came home only in 2013. Kim is not and has never been a member of the New People’s Army. He planned to work in Davao only for a while and in fact planned to bring his family to his home province in Iligan this Christmas before returning to work in Manila.

Kim was helping in the reforestation efforts to bring back the life of the forests of Cateel. Lives and livelihoods of hundreds of families in Cateel are dependent on the healthy functioning of this ecosystem, and Kim’s ongoing research is vital to the realization of the ongoing reforestation and rehabilitation process.

Detained physicist Kim Gargar pleads not guilty to the criminal charges filed by the 67th Infantry Battalion in Baganga Regional Trial Court.

The group Agham then calls for the immediate release of Kim Gargar and demands that all trumped-up charges be dropped so he could continue practicing his life-long commitment as a scientist for the people.


Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.