October 5, 2013
DO NOT VILIFY PEOPLE’S SCIENTISTS!
RELEASE KIM GARGAR NOW!
The AGHAM-Advocates of Science and Technology for the People strongly
condemns the illegal arrest and detention of its member, physicist Kim
Gargar, by the elements of the 67th Infantry Battalion of the Armed Forces
of the Philippines. Gargar was 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. He was then arrested and charged with trumped up cases.
Gargar is a true blue scientist of the people. When he personally
witnessed the plight of his fellow Mindanaoenos when he joined a
humanitarian and fact finding mission last April 18-20, 2013, he was
definite he had to return to Davao. He lamented the inaction and lack of
support for the devastated communities, five months after Typhoon Pablo.
He talked of the immense need to rehabilitate the forests and the
environment to reduce the risks of disasters and help the people regain
their source of water and life. In his return to Manila, Gargar
immediately requested to be temporarily seconded to PanalipdanSouthern
Mindanao to be allowed to directly contribute to restoration efforts.
The military’s claims are all incredible. Kim Gargar is not and has never
been a member of the New People’s Army. He planned to work in Davao for
six months with the communities in their efforts to rise up from the
devastation of Typhoon Pablo. He planned to bring his family to his home
province in Iligan this Christmas, before returning to work in Manila.
Kim Gargar graduated as Magna Cum Laude with a degree in BS Physics. After
graduation, he taught at the University of the Philippines Diliman. He
also pursued his passion for teaching aspiring physicists at the MAPUA
Institute of Technology and the Polytechnic University of the Philippines.
As a bright boy from an underpriviledged family in Iligan, Kim treasured
scientific education and viewed it not just as a tool to further his
personal gains but as a critical element in developing technologies for
national development. He continued his studies as a doctorate student
specializing in Chronobiology, a branch of science dealing with biological
rhythms and cyclic processes in living organisms, at the University of
Groningen in the Netherlands.
Carrying out AGHAM’s advocacy of making science and technology for the
people, Kim decided to devote his time to volunteer work in AGHAM. As a
scientist for the people, he unselfishly shared his technical expertise
and energy in explaining scientific concepts to local communities to help
sharpen their analysis in confronting issues that affect them.
His involvement with AGHAM includes the promotion of the People’s Science
Schools in urban poor communities and the Science for the People
Colloquium, a venue for scientists to share their research outputs on
appropriate technology for community development. In the universities he
worked, he institutionalized research groups inside science organizations
with the aim of matching the subject of researches with the needs of
As an environmental advocate, he was part of environmental investigative
missions on various issues such as the impacts of cassava monocrop
plantation in Isabela, the flooding study of the Buawaya River in
Cordillera. Kim was an active member of a citizens’ watchdog group that
monitored the issue of the huge mine spill caused by the failure of the
tailings impoundment of Philex Mines in Benguet.
AGHAM 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.
Make science and technology serve the people!
ADVOCATES OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FOR THE PEOPLE (AGHAM)
127-B Scout Fuentebella St. corner Sacred Heart, Kamuning, Quezon City
T: +63 2 998 4226