The future of the Philippines will be determined by the incoming May elections. One of the factors that will facilitate its peaceful and secure holding are the transmission towers for the supply of electrical current.
In Mindanao however, conflicts between and among forces put these installations in danger. Joint efforts are needed from all sectors to protect the transmission towers. Senator Francis ‘Chiz’ Escudero presents the scenario fairly well and appeals to the influential parties to do their share.
CHIZ ASKS MILF: HELP SECURE NGCP TOWERS TO AVERT POLL FAILURE IN MINDANAO
The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) should play an active role to ensure the coming May elections will push through in Mindanao by helping secure the transmission towers of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) that have been the subject of at least 17 bomb attacks since last year.
“There can be no better time for the MILF to show good faith and sincerity than now when the BBL (Bangsamoro Basic Law) is under consideration in the legislature,” said Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero, the leading vice-presidential candidate in the May polls.
Escudero said that while the NGCP has issued urgent appeals to the military, police and local residents to help secure its towers, the MILF should take it upon itself to be involved in the security since most of the bombed transmission towers are located in its bailiwick, particularly the provinces of Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur.
“These are the areas where the MILF has presence and wields some form of authority. Surely, they will be in a position to secure the NGCP towers,” Escudero explained.
As of last week, at least 17 NGCP towers have already been bombed by unidentified suspects, although many residents have blamed the renegade Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) for most of the attacks.
Escudero said the BIFF involvement is an issue that could be contained by the MILF since many of its officials and members have relatives and friends aligned with the group.
“Baka pwedeng arburin na lang ng MILF sa BIFF ‘yung mga NGCP towers ‘wag lang maputol ang kuryente at maantala ang eleksyon sa Mayo,” Escudero said.
At the same time, Escudero said the MILF could also be “instrumental in settling, negotiating for and mediating land claims and zonal problems which have kept the NGCP from throwing a more reliable blanket security around its towers.”
“With its formidable and respected position in Muslim society, the MILF could also intervene in these matters to assure the uninterrupted and efficient operation of the NGCP which will tantamount to peace, order and development in that part of Mindanao,” he averred.
The NGCP and President Aquino himself have lamented that land claims, zonal problems and unreasonable land owners have stood in the way of the power transmission firm’s objective to provide constant power to Mindanao.
“The MILF holds the key to solving these problems. And should the BBL come into fruition, the MILF leaders should start considering themselves as partners in progress, especially in the power industry,” Escudero said.