MABALACAT CITY – Unidentified persons lobbed a grenade past midnight Tuesday at a major power station in Barangay Mabiga here, seriously damaging it and throwing 26 out of the 28 barangays into darkness.
As of yesterday, the affected areas remained without power. Work at the local city hall at Xevera subdivision remained suspended, even as the power outage was reported to have already seriously affected the operations of many businesses in this city.
Pampanga police director Senior Supt. Oscar Albayalde said in an interview that local folk initially thought the sub-station belonging to the Pampanga Electric Cooperative II (Pelco II) was hit by lightning during a freak thunderstorm at about 12:45 a.m. Tuesday when power suddenly went off.
“The case was not reported to the police until later in the day after some technicians of Pelco II who arrived to repair the sub-station noted some exploded grenade fragments at the site,” he said.
City police chief Supt. Ferdinand Perez said that apparently, the suspect used the freak thunderstorm past midnight Tuesday as subterfuge so as to avoid being detected. The grenade was thrown amid thunder, he added.
He said that of Mabalacat’s 28 barangays, only Dau and Lakandula were not affected by the power failure.
Perez said probers still did not have any suspect as of yesterday. He said that while there was no evidence yet on any suspect, investigators are looking into the possibility of the involvement of a dismissed Pelco II worker.
Meanwhile, no official from the city hall could be contacted immediately for interview on the incident. Most of them were reported to have gone abroad after the last elections.
As of late afternoon Wednesday, Pelco II officials could not say when electricity could be restored .