Tower 25’s lot owner demands payment of P40 million claims

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/ 07 February) — A top official of the National Transportation Corporation (Transco) said the family who owns the lot where the bombed Tower 25 of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) stood is asking the government to settle the unpaid claims worth P40 million.

Transco president and chief-operating-officer (CEO) Generoso Senal said this concern was submitted to them only on January 6, 2016, two weeks after the Christmas eve bombing of Tower 25 at Ramain in Lanao del Sur.

Agus 1 and Agus 2, with a combined installed capacity of 150 mw but can produce only about 80 MW because of low water inflow due to El Niño, have remained isolated for more than a month now because lot owners Johnny Sambitori, Intan Sambitori, and Naguib Sambitori refused NGCP personnel entry to facilitate repair works on the damaged tower, he said.

Senal said they have yet to conduct an assessment on the true cost of the lot based on its assessed value and secure documentation such as the tax declaration from the Land Registration Authority (LRA) of the owners.

“We try to talk to the owners… There has to be a validation, which comes with papers and then we settle it,” he told the 7th Principals’ Meeting of the Mindanao Power Monitoring Committee (MPMC) last Thursday.

He said cost of the lots will be based on the time of taking of the property and the annual interest of 6 percent of the lot’s cost would compensate as rent to the owners.

In an earlier press conference, Romeo Montenegro, director for Investment Promotion, International Relations and Public Affairs of the Mindanao Development Authority said the tower was constructed by the National Power Corporation 60 years ago.

Transco deputy legal counsel Lawyer Leon T. Tapel Jr. said the Sambitoris’ alleged unsettled claims surfaced only after the bombing incident but they have to undertake a process to prove whether they are the owners or if their claims are real.

In 2001, when Republic Act 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) was passed into law, the grid operation was relegated to the newly created National Transmission Corporation (TransCo). When privatizat