ZAMBOANGA CITY: Two power pylons of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) were bombed in Carmen town, North Cotabato province on Tuesday.
The twin bombings in the villages of Kitulaan and Aroman in Carmen town occurred just a day after police foiled a bomb attack in Cotabato City.
NGCP said the blasts hit Towers 95 and 96 of the Kibawe-Kabacan 138-kilovolt line. It was the fifth attack on the NGCP towers since early this year.
The explosions that occurred early in the morning failed to topple the towers.
“Restoration of the two towers will commence as soon as the area is secured. The company stresses that the bombings only serve to increase the burden of the public, which must suffer through service interruptions when towers are bombed,” the NGCP said in a statement.
The NGCP appealed to the local community and its leaders to help the authorities identify the perpetrators to prevent the longer power interruptions that the region has been experiencing since last month.
No individual or group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but different rebel groups operate in the province.
In March, a power pylon – Tower 63 – was also bombed in the town of Aleosan, North Cotabato. The same tower was also bombed in January.
Meanwhile, bomb experts on Monday safely defused a powerful bomb planted beside the barangay hall of Rosary Heights 10, Cotabato City.
Initial investigation revealed that the explosive was rigged with two M-203 rifle grenades, an MK-2 hand grenade, a switch diagram, wires, a 9-volt battery and a cellular phone as the triggering device, and was deactivated at about 11:40 a.m.
No individual or group claimed responsibility for the bombing attempt, but the police are looking at two unnamed groups as possible culprits.
Senior Insp. Roel Zafra, Cotabato City PNP spokesperson, told reporters that the attack was “meant to kill or maim people,” but he did not divulge the suspects being eyed over the attempt.
Earlier this month, unidentified suspects detonated a powerful bomb in Cotabato City State Polytechnic College (CCSPC) that injured at least three students.
Another improvised bomb also assembled with an M-203 rifle grenade and concrete nails was blown up in Kulolots’ Videoke House in Barangay Rosary Height 9 last December, but no one was hurt.
Ansarul Khilafah or Supporters of the Caliphate in Sarangani province, headed by Muhammad Jaafar Maguid alias Tokboy, claimed responsibility for the December bombing.
Maguid’s group have been working with the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and other groups that had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (IS).
The BIFF is the known lawless element group operating in Cotabato City, as well as in Maguindanao and its nearby provinces.
Several bombing attempts have been detected by the authorities in the region.
WITH MOH SAADUDDIN