Bomb experts preempt attempt to topple transmission tower in North Cot

Lt. Col. Milfredo Meligrito, commander of the 57th Infantry Battalion, said they recovered the four improvised explosive devices (IEDs) placed at a steel tower owned by the National Grid Corp. (NGC, formerly National Transmission Corp.) at Barangay Bual in Tulunan.

He said these are made from 60mm mortars. Each, he said, consists of an explosive charge, a detonator, and a mechanism that initiates the electrical charge to set off the device. It is supposed to be detonated with a remote control device but the IEDs’ makers apparently failed.

“These bombs are designed to topple down a structure like the transmission tower,” he said of the bombs’ power.

Meligrito noted that the discovery of the IEDs happened at the time when Moro rebels commemorate the Jabidah massacre, said to be the “turning point of the re-awakening of the Moro people” in Mindanao. In 1968, 26 young Moros being trained by government to invade Sabah, Malaysia were allegedly ordered murdered by their Army training officers in Corregidor Island.

"I'm not saying, however, the incident has something to do with the commemoration of the MNLF of the Jabidah massacre," the Army officer was quick to note. 

But he said the Tulunan attempt could be linked to the recent attacks on government installations in other parts of the region.

Last Sunday, suspected Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels attacked a plant of the National Power Corporation in Kalamansig, Sultan Kudarat. 

The next day, Tower 142 of the NGC in Kabacan, North Cotabato was toppled, cutting off two 138-kilovolt transmission lines, causing power interruptions in some towns in North Cotabato and Maguindanao, said Engr. Elmo Batislaong of NGC Southwest Mindanao. (Malu Cadeliña Manar / MindaNews)