Army on alert vs Maguindanao bombers of power lines


KIDAPAWAN CITY: The Army here has placed its forces and its multipliers into heightened alert after suspected Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) attempted, but failed, to topple down a steel tower of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).

On Sunday, three improvised bombs were set off by BIFF in one of the steel tower of the NGCP in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao province in what the Army said was a desperate act to get back at government forces and the general public for the fall of its main camp two weeks ago.

Major Dante Gania, public affairs chief of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, said the bombers strapped three improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in three of the four columns of the tower but only one went off.

“Obviously it was a desperate attempt to sabotage the peace we are experiencing now,” Gania told reporters.

Despite the explosion of one of the IEDs, Gania said the tower remained intact.

It was the second attempt of the BIFF and its sympathizers to topple steel tower of NGCP in an apparent move to divert the military’s attention following the fall of BIFF camp in Barangay Ganta, Datu Shariff Saydona, Maguindanao and the death of at least 50 BIFF guerillas.

On February 7, the BIFF planted an IED in a transmission tower of NGCP in Datu Paglas, Maguindanao but it failed to topple down the tower.

Police and militiamen assigned in the area noticed two men roaming around the tower in the middle of rice field hours before the blast.

Militiamen and intelligence operatives under the supervision and administrative control of the 38th Infantry Battalion have been deployed and tasked to secure power lines.

Gania also appealed to the public to help secure steel tower in their communities because everybody, including those living near the steel tower would experience the inconvenience of power outages when lawless elements succeeded in their terror activities. PNA


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