Blasts rock Maguindanao, Basilan PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 15 January 2015 11:59

Security forces were on double alert Wednesday after two explosions rocked Maguindanao and Basilan Tuesday night, two days before the arrival of Pope Francis in Manila.

Capt. Jo-ann Petinglay, regional military spokesperson, said that Maj. Gen. Edmundo Pangilinan, commander of the army’s 6th Infantry Division has ordered troops to secure all vital installations in central Mindanao following a bomb attack that toppled a power pylon and plunged most parts of North Cotabato and Maguindanao provinces in darkness around 9 p.m. Tuesday.

At about the same time, a grenade attack destroyed a road construction equipment in the remote town of Tipo-Tipo, a stronghold of the Abu Sayyaf in Basilan.

Petinglay said that bombers used three improvised explosive devices (IEDs) made of 81mm and 60 mm mortars in toppling the power pylon of the National Grid Corporation of the Philipppines (NGCP) causing three-hour power outage in the two central Mindanao provinces of North Cotabato and Maguindanao, both strongholds of the rebel group Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) which is opposing the March 27, 2014 peace deal the Philippine government has entered into with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

She said that a cellular phone was used in detonating the IEDs at Barangay Galakit, Pagalungan as evidenced by the cellphone parts, battery and mortar fragments recovered at the scene of the blast.

“The attack although it did not cause loss of lives is obviously intended to sabotage the normalcy and peaceful situation in the area. Its effect to the economic activities in the area could not be taken for granted,” Petinglay said.

Gen. Pangilinan has also ordered troops to secure NGCP personnel trying to repair that damaged power pylon.

The attack at the boundary of Parangbasak and Bohe Baka  in Basilan  destroyed some equipment of the Provincial Engineer’s Office undertaking the construction of a circumferential road, a project funded by Saudi Arabia.