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Kim Gargar, a PhD student of Chronobiology from the University of Groningen, was illegally arrested last October 2 by elements of the 67th Infantry Battalion while doing fieldwork for a project in Typhoon Pablo devastated areas. He was caught in a crossfire between government soldiers and the New People’s Army (NPA) and remains in detention at the Mati Provincial Jail.
According to Kim and his lawyer, he 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. The presence of fireflies are indicators of nearby clean water spots and an unpolluted and healthy environment. Fireflies are highly sensitive to pollutants and chemicals and often inhabit areas such as marshes or wet wooded areas.
In this current crisis of governance by the Aquino administration, the country's scientists, technologists, ICT professionals, and engineers are not spared from the government's neglect in providing an environment that will give greater opportunities and other forms of support where they can flourish as pioneers of scientific and technological breakthroughs and inventions that would be of greater relevance for the country's national development. The limited state support does not dignify the role of science and technology in providing an effective and efficient services to improve the well-being of the Filipino people.
Hence, it is a timely resolute for our local scientists, technologists, ICT professionals, and engineers to take part in the growing number of people demanding for the outright removal of Pork Barrel in the Legislative Branch of government, and more importantly, the Presidential Pork Barrel that are believed to be sources of massive corruption at grand scale.
November 15, 2013 marks the third year of the continuing injustice of the Aquino government on the families and friends of one of the country’s foremost Botanist Leonard Co, Forester Sofronio Cortez and Farmer Julius Borromeo. The three were all slain by members of the19th Infantry Battalion of the Armed Forces of the Philippines while the study team was performing their job for a reforestation project of the Energy Development Corporation (EDC) in Kananga, Leyte, .
An apparent case of mistaken identity, yet the military hangs on to its lame excuse that they were fired at to rationalize the wild volley fire they unleashed that killed the three and wounded the two other members of the forest study team.