• Gunmen attack Lanao electric coop

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    M79 grenades shells recovered from the compound of the Lanao del Sur Electric Cooperative in Marawi City on Saturday. PHOTO BY AL JACINTO

    M79 grenades shells recovered from the compound of the Lanao del Sur Electric Cooperative in Marawi City on Saturday. PHOTO BY AL JACINTO

    ZAMBOANGA CITY: Unidentified gunmen attacked with grenade launchers before dawn Saturday the Lanao del Sur Electric Cooperative in Marawi City in the restive province of Lanao del Sur in the Muslim autonomous region in Mindanao.

    Officials said there were no casualties in the attacks, but it damaged several properties of the electric cooperative in the village of Gadongan. At least 20 grenades hit the compound where senior cooperative officials are staying.

    No individual or group claimed responsibility for the attacks, but this occurred after the cooperative cut off electricity in 35 towns in the province due to non-payment of their bills.

    It was unknown why the police and military failed to respond to the attacks. It was the second attack in two weeks against the electric cooperative.

    Just this month, gunmen also torched a crane truck—owned by Jera General Construction—contracted by the electric cooperative to hasten energy projects in Lanao del Sur.

    The armed men were in several vehicles when they attacked the truck along the highway in Ditsaan-Ramain, one of the towns whose electricity had been cut off.

    Policemen and soldiers deployed in the town also failed to respond to the arson and failed to arrest the perpetrators who stayed in the area for several minutes and fired their guns indiscriminately in the air before fleeing.

    Cooperative officials were also receiving death threats and they have called on the National Bureau of Investigation to investigate this and the continuing attacks against the firm.

    Lanao del Sur Governor Mamintal Adiong has not issued any statement on both attacks on the cooperative and so were the police and military, but a reform movement in the province called Sautol Haqq which literally means “Voice of Truth” has condemned the attacks. It previously called on the Aquino government to investigate corruption allegations in the province.

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