2 explosions topple NGCP power towers in North Cotabato town
Originally posted: 7:45 AM October 10th, 2015
KIDAPAWAN CITY—Two explosions toppled two steel power pylons in Pikit, North Cotabato late Friday and plunged Cotabato City, Maguindanao and a number of towns in North Cotabato into darkness, the police said Saturday.
Senior Insp. Sindato Karim, Pikit police chief, said the near simultaneous explosions affected steel pylons No. 44 and 45 of the National Grid Corporation in the Philippines (NGCP) in Barangay (village) Batolawan at around 11:45 p.m.
Karim said initial investigation revealed that the explosions that damaged the power towers were caused by improvised explosive devices, the composition of which, were still being determined.
“We are still conducting investigation on the motives and identity of the suspects,” Karim said.
Aside from Pikit, other affected areas in North Cotabato included Aleosan and Midsayap and other towns in the province’s first district, which has an estimated 445,000 inhabitants based on the 2010 population survey.
Cotabato City has nearly 272,000 residents while Maguindanao’s population is about 944,700.
Karim said the bombed towers were about 400 meters away from a paramilitary detachment but the attackers did not care.
“The IEDs (improvised explosive devices) were planted at the four feet of Tower 44 which toppled the steel structures while Tower 45 tilted on its side,” Karim said.
The NGCP-managed towers were part of the 138-kilovolt line that connects the Kibawe, Bukidnon station to the Kabacan-Simuay station.
Karim said nobody has claimed responsibility over the attacks but it could be the work of an extortion group.
Previous attacks on NGCP power lines—such as those that occurred in January this year—were blamed on such groups as the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, which also operates in Pikit. Williamor Magbanua and Edwin Fernandez/RAM
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