Injured UP prof found in police custody in Davao Oriental

October 3, 2013

Prof. Kim Gargar

Prof. Kim Gargar

A physics professor from the University of the Philippines (UP) who was reported missing after conducting a study in an area affected by Typhoon Pablo in Davao Oriental was found early Thursday morning in Mati Provincial Hospital under police custody, reported Davao Today.

Juland Suazo, Panalipdan (Defend) spokesperson, also confirmed to Pinoy Weekly that they and fellow UP professors located Prof. Kim Gargar in the said hospital under the custody of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).

Gargar reportedly sustained a fractured leg and has injuries to his head when located by Panalipdan and his fellow professors.

Davao Today reported that inquest proceedings were filed by the police against Gargar in a Mati court for charges of multiple murder, illegal possession of firearms and violation of the gun ban by the Commission on Elections.

The Davao-based news site also reported that the UP professor was injured in Aliwagwag Falls in Cateel when he was found by elements of the 67th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army. The soldiers were reportedly in pursuit operations against guerrillas of the New People’s Army.

Gargar and a companion, Restita Miles from Rural Missionaries of the Philippines, went missing Wednesday, October 2.

The professor was conducting a study in the forested areas in Cateel. According to Panalipdan, Gargar’s study was in preparation for a rehabilitation program in the area sponsored by Balsa Mindanao.

But a spokesperson for the Eastern Mindanao Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines claimed that elements of the 67th IB under Lt. Col. Krishnamurti Mortela captured Gargar allegedly in possession of an M-16 rifle and “subversive materials.”

Suazo said human rights lawyers are now taking up his legal case.

Aside from being a UP professor, Gargar also has a column for Pinoy Weekly, titled “Gulong ng Buhay”.

(Read Prof. Gargar’s columns in Pinoy Weekly here.)

UPDATED: 12:40AM October 4, 2013