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2 power towers bombed in Ilocos Norte town

/ 12:09 AM February 22, 2016
A POLICEMAN inspects one of two toppled transmission towers of wind farm developer UPC Renewables in Pasuquin town in Ilocos Norte province. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

A POLICEMAN inspects one of two toppled transmission towers of wind farm developer UPC Renewables in Pasuquin town in Ilocos Norte province. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

PASUQUIN, Ilocos Norte—Two transmission towers operated by wind farm developer UPC Renewables in Pasuquin town were destroyed by what appeared to be explosives set off on Thursday.

Residents in the mountainous village of Tadao, 25 kilometers from Laoag City, reported hearing an unusual sound and finding the 100-meter towers shattered.

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The tower foundations were spared by the blast but metal fragments littered the area when residents investigated, according to reports that reached the police.

A police team sent on Friday to investigate took four hours to reach Tadao. The damaged towers were set apart by 250 m, which also required long treks for the investigators.

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Police said the blast could have occurred between 9 and 9:30 p.m. on Thursday. The explosives appeared to have been designed by an expert bomber, said Supt. Leiland Benigno of the Ilocos Norte police.

The towers transmit electricity produced by the wind farm in Pagudpud town. The wind farm is a joint project of AC Energy Holdings Inc., UPC Renewables, and the Philippine Investment Alliance for Infrastructure.

In November 2014, the inauguration of the 81-megawatt Pagudpud wind farm was marred by protests from residents who appealed to its operator, North Luzon Renewable Energy Corp., to relocate its transmission lines. The towers, they said, have encroached into their property. Leilanie Adriano, Inquirer Northern Luzon

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