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By Frank E. Dosdos, Jr. and Phil Paalan of The New Ranao Star

The Chief Executive of Ditsaan Ramain, Lanao del Sur has ordered a thorough investigation of the burning of a boom truck owned by Jera General Construction in the morning of May 13.

In a press conference held last May 16 at the ABC Hall in the Municipal Hall Compound of the said municipality, Spokesman Atty. Mangondaya Solaiman told newsmen that Mayor Ali Adiong was very disgusted that the incident happened in the vicinity of his municipality.

Immediately, Mayor Adiong formed a fact finding committee headed by Police Inspector Acmad Solaiman to investigate and solve the incident as soon as possible, Solaiman said.

He also said that the Mayor was dismayed because the incident disturbed the peace and order condition of his municipality known to be the most peaceful town in Lanao del Sur.

It was reported that the said boom truck of the Jera General Construction was allegedly poured with gasoline and put on fire by unidentified men in the vicinity of Pagalungan, Ditsaan Ramain, Lanao del Sur.

Jera General Construction of Legaspi, Albay, is engaged by LASURECO in its various construction projects that included the erection of concrete electric posts to replace dilapidated wooden posts.

It was gathered from the Police Blotter that at about 11:47 A. M. on May 13, 2014, Salahoden B. Macapodi, a Security Guard, and Driver Rafael B. Dioneda of the boom truck reported that while they were at Barangay Pagalungan and about to start replacing the post, allegedly a group of people approached them riding on a white FORTUNER, one green MAZDA pick-up, two blue and light green multi-cab, two motorcycles and one light green PAJERO and stopped them from their work.

Macapodi reported that the driver of the FORTUNER argued with him and after a short dialogue, the latter ordered his men to get the keys of the boom truck and ordered the others to burn the said truck using gasoline owned by the said motorcycles.

When the boom truck was burning, Salahoden B. Macapodi secured his men and the driver to a safe place for security reasons, the blotter stated.

During the press conference, the Barangay Captain of Pagalungan stated that he stopped the planting of concrete poles for security reasons the day before when he learned that the activity was not coordinated with the Office of the Mayor.

It was said that many people in Ditsaan Ramain and adjoining municipalities are harboring grudges against LASURECO because their electricity has been cut over 6 months ago.

The Barangay Captain of Pagalungan said that he told the truck driver and his companions to come back the next day to the Office of the Mayor with a representative of the contractor or LASURECO for a dialogue and proper coordination.

According to municipal officials they gathered at the Municipal Hall early in the morning and waited for the Driver and the representative of the Contractor and LASURECO.

However, officials claimed that while they were waiting for the other party to arrive, they were informed that the said boom truck was burning at the highway near the boundary of Pendulonan, Bubong and Pagalungan, Ditsaan Ramain.

They said that all of them hurriedly boarded their vehicles to check how true was the information and found upon their arrival that the said boom truck was really burning.

Representatives of JERA Construction and LASURECO did not come and the dialogue did not push through.

At press time the investigation is underway but the police have not identified any suspects as no witness could point to the identity of the perpetrators.

It has not also determined the probable motive of the burning.

Shortly after the incident an unsigned letter was circulated accusing the Mayor, a close relative of the Governor, as the one who ordered the burning of the truck.

The Mayor vehemently denied the accusations.
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