Newly freed UP prof calls for resumption of peace talks to tackle economic reform

Aug. 07, 2014

DAVAO CITY – Former University of the Philippines Professor Kim Gargar called for resumption of peace talks to tackle the “main causes of the conflict.”

“Ung peace talks na sinusuportahan ko, ay ung socio-economic na peace. Hindi lang ung walang bakbakan. Kasi ung bakbakan naman is just a product of socio economic malfunctioning (The peace talk that I am supporting is the socio economic kind of peace. Not only the absence of conflict because conflict is just a product of socio economic malfunctioning.),” Gargar said in a press conference last Monday.

Gargar added that the CARHRIHL or the Comprehensive Agreement for Respect on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law  between the government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines “was already a good start and a partial victory.”

But he said that “the Aquino administration seems to ignore talks on socio economic reforms”

The Comprehensive Agreement on Socio Economic Reform (CASER) is the 2nd out of 4 substantive agenda, followed by the Constitutional, Political, and Electoral Reforms and End of hostilities and redisposition of armed forces.

Gargar said that CASER will “support scientists like him and engineers to apply their skills for the development of the country.”

One of the main objectives of the agreement is to “carry out agrarian reform and national industrialization, and to advance the rights of the working people, women, national and ethnic minorities and other exploited, oppressed, discriminated and disadvantaged sectors of society.”

“Pag magtatayo tayo ng industries, marami magbabago jan, may production ka na ng materials natin (If we will have industries, there will be changes, we will be producing our own [raw] materials),” he said.

He added that “most chemicals that used to finish products that we’re using are imported from other countries but the raw materials actually come from here.”

Gargar also said that scientists like him, engineers, and other professionals will benefit from the industries as jobs will be generated.

“Some [professionals] will die, and some will just go abroad without being able to experience working in an industry,” he added.

Gargar, together with his colleagues and supporters, also called to free all political prisoners under the Aquino and Arroyo administration including the NDF consultants.

“Kung pwede sana ipa dismiss nalang ang case, I drop ang charges, palayain lahat ng political prisoners. It will just waste resources,” he said.

According to the Marie Hilao-Enriquez, National Chairperson of Samahan ng Ex-detainee Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA or Prison) said that “the Aquino administration didn’t recognize the consultants even though the Tiamzon couple presented proof of being NDF consultants.”

Hilao-Enriquez said that Aquino “is already breaking his promise to give justice to the victims of extra-judicial killings under the Arroyo administration.”

“Kung ayaw mong mapahiya ka, eh umalis ka na jan (If you don’t want to be put to shame, leave the palace),” she added. (

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