NGCP Tower 25 bombed for the second time

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 5 May) – The controversial Tower 25 of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) in Ramain, Lanao del Sur was bombed for the second time Tuesday evening, almost two months after it was restored.

This was confirmed by Milfrance Capulong, NGCP spokesperson for Mindanao, in a text message to the media on Thursday.

This is the sixth tower bombing incident this year.

Capulong said that the power supply situation was maintained since only the Agus 2 – Kibawe 138kV line was affected unlike in the last Christmas eve bombing on Tower 25 that isolated Agus 1 and Agus 2 hydropower plants.

(The Agus 1 and Agus 2’s combined capacity is 260 MW but due to low water inflow caused by the reduction of water levels in Lake Lanao, the two hydropower plants currently supply only 80 MW.)

The entire Agus-Pulangui Hydro Power Complex, comprised of seven plants – Agus 1, Agus 2, Agus 4, Agus 5, Agus 6, Agus 7, and Pulangui 4 – has a total installed capacity of 982 MW, the major source of power in Mindanao as of yet.

The series of attacks on NGCP towers paved the way for the creation of the Interagency Task Force on Securing Energy Facilities (ITFSEF) in February 2016 that facilitated the repair works on Tower 25 last March 5. Repair was completed on March 14.

This was after the Regional Trial Court of Lanao del Sur ordered owners Johny Sambitory, Intan Sambitory, and Naguib Sambitory to allow NGCP personnel access to the damaged tower.

“In its bid to ensure uninterrupted delivery of power transmission services, particularly during the May 9 national and local elections, NGCP energized the crucial Agus 2-Baloi 138kV line after clearing right-of-way obstructions,” Capulong said.

“NGCP is pleased to report that at 7 p.m. of May 3, we have successfully energized the Agus 2-Baloi line after invoking the COMELEC Resolution and with the assistance of government and law enforcement agencies during the clearing operations,” confirmed NGCP.

Capulong said that it was only one of eight lines identified “as critical in Mindanao that continue to be plagued by uncooperative land claimants demanding exorbitant amounts.”