NGCP tower bombed anew

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THE transmission tower of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) was bombed again early on Wednesday in the town of Aleosan in North Cotabato, the second attack since last month.

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Supt. Bernard Tayong, North Cotabato provincial police spokesperson, said unidentified persons attempted again to topple NGCP tower no. 63 in Pagangan village using two improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

Police said that two of three improvised explosives strapped on the base of the tower were detonated, and the third was safely defused.

The explosion damaged two pillars of the tower but it did not collapse that could have caused serious power interruption in the provinces connected to the grid along Kabacan-Sultan Kudarat 138-kV line.

On January 14, unidentified men attempted to topple the same tower but failed, causing only minor destruction.

NGCP spokesperson Elizabeth Ladaga told The Manila Times that the attack was the third this year.

She added that the tower will be restored as soon as the area has been cleared by security forces.

No individual has claimed responsibility for the latest bombing.

Authorities also remained clueless as to the motives behind the latest bombing but suspected elements of the Al Khobar group, whose members are also linked to the radical groups Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and Khilafah Islamiyah Movement, were being eyed.

Meanwhile, the NGCP reported that last year, 18 of its transmission towers were targeted, 14 of these were bombed, toppling eight and damaging six power structures.

The destroyed pylons are located in Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat, North Cotabato, and Marawi City.

The series of attacks caused power interruptions and outages in many parts of Mindanao.

The NGCP also acknowledged the right-of-way issue in one of its facility sites to have contributed to the problem.

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