PASUQUIN, Ilocos Norte (Feb. 19) – Police authorities here are looking on all angles following the blasting of two transmission towers operated by wind farm developer UPC Renewables on Thursday night in Brgy. Tadao, this town.
Pasuquin Mayor Peter Felix Aguinaldo said that residents in the mountainous village of Tadao heard an explosion at night and the following morning of Friday, February 19, they saw two toppled steel transmission towers described as heavily damaged at the scene of explosion.
The wind farm is a joint venture of Ayala Corporation’s AC Energy Holdings, Inc., UPC Renewables and Philippine Investment Alliance for Infrastructure.
Senior Supt. Jose Melencio Nartatez Jr., OIC of the Ilocos Norte Police Provincial Office, said police investigators are still coordinating with the wind farm officials to determine the motive behind the blast.
Nartatez said that there were no report of fatalities or injuries except for the structure damages in the incident.
Investigators theorized that the persons responsible for the blast have technical skills in explosives.
It may be recalled that in November 2014, local residents staged a mini-protest rally during the inauguration rites of the 81-megawatt Pagudpud wind farm that allegedly affected their barangay. They demanded the North Luzon Renewable Energy Corp., to relocate its transmission lines alleging that their towers had encroached into their private properties.
The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) through spokesperson Lilibeth Gaydowen immediately issued a press statement yesterday assuring the public that NGCP power lines in the province remained in normal operation despite of the blast saying that the affected towers are not theirs but separately owned, operated and maintained by the Ayala corporation.
The NLR firm management vowed to cooperate willingly with the law enforcement agencies and the local government officials to dig deeper into the investigation of this incident. (tsg)