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Ultimate Losers!

Editorial

Lawbreakers can break the law whenever and wherever the like. But there is one among some laws like the Law of Gravity that nobody can violate. It is the law of cause and effect.


This one is now haunting the people of Lanao del Sur. What will be the effect of the misunderstanding between many local government officials and the Management of LASURECO? Especially now that It is somewhat worsening?

Last May 13, a truck-mounted light crane of JERA General Construction, a contractor of LASURECO, was burned on the highway in the vicinity of Pagalungan, Ditsaan Ramain. The equipment was used in the erection of concrete poles to replace dilapidated wooden posts along the highway that would carry the 13.2 KVA lines to the towns of the eastern side of Lake Lanao.

It was immediately announced that Mayor Ali Adiong of Ramain ordered an immediate and thorough investigation of the incident by a Fact-finding Committee that he created after the incident. However, on May 19, LASURECO General Manager Ashary P. Maongco filed a formal complaint for Destructive Arson before the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office against Mayor Adiong for allegedly ordering the burning of the said JERA equipment.

Subsequently, two suspiciously related incidents happened in succession last weekend. GM Maongco called a Press Conference last Friday, May 23 and told the press that the LASURECO compound got a rifle grenade attack early at dawn. Luckily, nobody was hurt and no severe damage to property resulted. In the evening of May 24 Mayor Ali Adiong reportedlty received a phone call informing that there was a plot to ambush him.

A police patrol early dawn picked up 7 persons suspiciusly concealed among the tall grass near LASURECO compound. On questioning, they claimed that they were watching on shifts the properties of LASURECO. But one was found with an unlicensed .38 caliber revolver in his person. A .22 caliber was also found in the premises.

Six of the men were later released by the police but the one with the gun was jailed for Illegal Possession of Firearms.

Even if these incidents will result to charges and counter charges between the above-named officials, both are presumed innocent until proven otherwise by a competent court. This is a constitutional guarantee.

But the ultimate losers will be the people of Lanao del Sur. Many municipalities are now experiencing the pangs of having no electricity. The installation of 13.2 KVA lines along the highway must be completed in order that electricity of the adequate volume and voltage can be delivered to the area.

The misunderstanding between LASURECO Management and most of the local government officials of the province can certainly be settled through a meeting of the minds. The culture and tradition of the Meranao has a way to settle this matter.

Lanao del Sur is one of the poorest provinces according to the assessment of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). As experienced by more progressive provinces, electricity is one of the essential catalysts of economic growth and development. And with poor power supply, economic growth is impossible to attain.

It is time for the people of Lanao del Sur to unite and solve the power supply problem of the province. They must make some changes in their attitudes toward power generation and its relation to the waters of Lake Lanao. They must look back to the centuries that the waters of the lake and Agus River had not been tapped for power. Certainly, they would realize that without the huge capital investments that the government put into the construction of hydroelectric plants, the water of Lake Lanao and Agus River will remain water without electricity.

There must be a way to recover the costs of building those hydroelectric plants and the expenses incurred in maintaining the facilities. The people working on the power system must also get paid their salaries and wages for work rendered to enable electricity to flow from the Plants to the houses of the consumers.

Meanwhile, if the bickering continues, the people will also continue to suffer.

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