• Professor-turned-rebel faces stack of charges

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    ZAMBOANGA CITY: A university professor, who was captured and accused by the military as a communist rebel, is facing criminal charges after authorities filed multiple cases of illegal possession of weapons and explosives, and frustrated murders against him, an army spokesman said Friday.

    Troops captured Professor Kim Gargar who was wounded in a recent clash in Davao Oriental’s Cateel town. An automatic rifle was also recovered from him in the village of Aliwagwag where troops also killed a rebel leader of the New People’s Army.

    “Gargar is now charged with illegal possession of explosives and firearms, violation of COMELEC gun ban and multiple frustrated murders,” said Captain Alberto Caber, of the Eastern Mindanao Command.

    He said the criminal charges against Gargar, who belongs to the NPA Platoon Front 25, have been filed in court in Mati town in Davao Oriental province.

    Caber said Gargar told military interrogators that he joined the NPA last year, but previously helped Sison in the production of several books aimed at exploiting villagers in the countryside.

    Gargar was a Physics professor at the University of the Philippines in Quezon City and also worked at the Don Mariano University in Cagayan de Oro City in Misamis Oriental province and in Polytechnic University and Mapua University, both in Manila. He was also doctorate scholar in University of Groningen in The Netherlands, according to Caber.

    But the human rights group Karapatan has branded Gargar’s arrest and detention as illegal, saying the he was wrongfully accused by the military.

    “To throw Professor Kim Gargar in jail on trumped up charges because he wanted to help the [Typhoon] Pablo victims in rehabilitating and developing their communities is not only violating his rights but is also injustice to the communities he is assisting. Professor Gargar should be immediately released,” said Cristina Palabay, the group’s secretary general.

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    1. The customary practice of AFP/Police in the Philippines is to charge any political dissenter or civil protester of being tied to the NPA or Sison, then plant guns/explosives in whatever they confiscate, and throw the wrongfully accused into the military stockade. This has been criticized by Amnesty International, UN Human Rights Council, Human Rights Watch, and even by the US State Department. So this is another example of the horrible outrages Filipinas and Filipinos are subjected to everyday. Help!