• Former professor held by military released on bail

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    Professor Kim Gargar (center) signing a document before he was released on bail. PHOTO COURTESY OF KILAB MULTIMEDIA

    Professor Kim Gargar (center) signing a document before he was released on bail. PHOTO COURTESY OF KILAB MULTIMEDIA

    ZAMBOANGA CITY: A court in Davao Oriental has ordered the release of a former teacher who was allegedly seized by the military during a firefight with communist rebels in Cateel town.

    Kim Gargar, who was captured in October 2013 in the village of Aliwagwag, walked away from his prison cell in Baganga town after he posting bail.

    Gargar, who was fetched by friends and relatives, also called on the Aquino government to free all political prisoners languishing in jails across the country.

    There was no immediate statement from the military on Gargar’s release, but the Eastern Mindanao Command has previously claimed that the professor helped write propaganda books for communist leader Jose Maria Sison aimed at exploiting villagers in the countryside.

    The Eastern Mindanao Command said Gargar allegedly admitted joining the New People’s Army in 2012. He was wounded in a clash with members of the 67th Infantry Battalion under Lt. Col. Krishnamurti Mortela, who gave him first aid before bringing him to the Davao Oriental provincial hospital.

    The Eastern Mindanao Command said Gargar was a former Physics professor at the University of the Philippines in Quezon City. He was a doctoral scholar at University of Groningen in The Netherlands.

    Gargar worked at the Don Mariano University in Cagayan de Oro City in Misamis Oriental as well as Polytechnic University of the Philippines and Mapua Institute of Technology in Manila.

    The NPA, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, has been fighting for a separate state in the country.

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