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Reward up for info on Ilocos power tower blasts

/ 12:20 AM February 24, 2016

LAOAG CITY—The Ilocos Norte government has put up a P100,000 reward for information that would help shed light on the Feb. 18 bombing of two wind farm transmission towers in the mountainous village of Tadao in Pasuquin town.

“The circumstances around the incident in Pasuquin are highly suspicious. We are looking at all possible angles and we have not arrived at a conclusion. However, the provincial government is offering P100,000 for information that may lead to the resolution of the incident,” Gov. Imee Marcos said here on Tuesday.

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A series of explosions toppled the towers of the Ayala-led North Luzon Renewable Energy Corp. (NLREC) on Thursday night. Village watchmen inspected the area after explosions woke up residents in Tadao. The blasts could be heard as far as Burgos town.

No one has claimed responsibility for the bombing.

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The damaged towers had cut off the 81-megawatt Caparispisan wind power farm of NLREC in Pagudpud town from the Luzon grid.

“Based on our initial investigation, [the bombers] used dynamite sticks, which caused the power towers to collapse. Whoever did it probably was trained well [in explosives],” said Supt. Leland Benigno, deputy for operations of the Ilocos Norte police.

He said the police were exploring all possible motives for the attack, including insurgency and politics.

National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP), which oversees all power transmission lines, has been coordinating with the police to prevent further attacks similar to the 2015 bombing of NGCP towers in Mindanao, said Lilibeth Gaydowen, the firm’s north Luzon communications and public affairs officer.

Police said fragments left by the blasts, as well as surgical masks, batteries, firing wires and plastic gloves recovered from the site, suggested similarities with the attacks on NGCP facilities in December last year. Leilanie Adriano, Inquirer Northern Luzon

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TAGS: blast, Bomb, Bombing, electrictity, Ilocos, Ilocos Norte, Laoag City, power, transmission tower
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