Unidentified gunmen set off an improvised explosive device at the foot of steel tower No. 68 of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines in Barangay Pagangan, Aleosan, North Cotabato at about 9:28 p.m. Thursday according to Aleosan municipality police chief Inspector Jun Napat.
The attack resulted in the total blackout from 9:28 p.m. Thursday until 10:30 a.m. of Friday covering North Cotabato’s first district and the whole of Maguindanao.
NGCP southern Mindanao spokesperson Melfrance Capulong confirmed the incident and said field personnel are now in the area to check on the status of the toppled tower.
Meanwhile, the military and police authorities are on the move hunting down the unidentified suspects, officials said.
Elements of the 40th Infantry Battalion and Aleosan PNP are following a lead about the suspects.
Quoting a report from NGCP, Arlene Hepiga of Cotabato Light said the Kibawe-Simuay 138 KV line was still out as of 10:30 a.m. Friday. She said NGCP tried shifting of loads for Cotabato Light via Tacurong Sub-Station since 10 p.m. but all three attempts failed overnight.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks but previous bombings of NGCP towers were blamed on elements of Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.
Police in North Cotabato are also looking at a crime syndicate whose leaders were arrested last week as possible suspects in the bombing as retaliatory attack against government forces and installations.
The more than 13-hour power outage in Cotabato City occurred while the city residents have been dealing with rotational brownout of 2 to 3 hours a day for the past two weeks. (PNA)