Friday, November 13, 2009

Power pylon bombed in southern Philippines

MARAWI CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / November 13, 2009) – Unidentified men bombed a steel pylon in the largely Muslim province of Lanao del Sur in Mindanao on Friday and cutting off electricity in some areas in the volatile southern region of Mindanao, Philippine authorities said.

Police said Tower 10 was damaged by the blast which occurred before dawn in the mountain village of Pagalamatan near Marawi City.

“Unidentified armed men strapped four explosive devices onto the base of Tower 10 and set them off. Three legs were totally damaged due to the explosions fashioned out from 81mm mortars. Responding policemen recovered one unexploded IED,” said Superintendent Esmael Pua Ali, the provincial police chief said.

No individual or group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but previous bombing in Lanao del Sur, one of five provinces under the troubled Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, were largely blamed to Moro rebels extorting money from the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines.

The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines is a consortium composed of Monte Oro Grid Resources Corporation, State Grid Corporation of China and Calaca High Power Corporation. It took over the National Transmission Corporation in January this year.

By offering a bid of $3.95 billion, the consortium won in the bidding for the franchise to operate and maintain the country’s transmission network – the biggest government auction conducted in efforts to reform the local power sector. The franchise is for fifty years. (With a report from Merlyn Manos)

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