Thieves strip electrical wiring from Diosdado Macapagal Bridge
by Jocelyn E. Morano
Butuan City (July 14) -- The Butuan City Police Office City Mobile Group arrested one of 2 people for stealing electrical wires from the Diosdado Macapagal Bridge lighting system, at past 2 early dawn today while conducting mobile patrol on said area.
Police authorities identified the suspect as Arthur Artajo, 32 years old, married, a resident of Purok 7 Barangay Ong Yiu, native of Dahon-Dahonan Purok 2 Santiago, Agusan del Norte who was caught in red handed stealing electrical wirings.
Upon arrest recovered from the suspect's possession was 8 mm and 30mm electrical wirings measuring more than 50 meters long, estimated to cost more or less 50,000 pesos.
It was only during the interrogation that the suspect revealed of one companion who at that time the one was driving a motorized trisikad, but refused to divulge the identity. The suspect faces charges in violation of the Republic Act 7832-Theft of Electrical Power Transmission Link and Materials.
City Engineering Electrical Division Chief Engr. Walter Butao expressed disappointment over the incident saying, the maintenance and management of Diosdado Macapagal Bridge has not yet been turned over to the city government.
"The P2.2 Billion Bridge project is funded under the Japan Bank International Cooperation and under the contract with Nippon Steel/TOA Corporation, who until today has the authority of the bridge's electronic control," said Engr. Butao.
It was learned the city government has long been requesting the Nippon Steel/TOA Corporation to conduct a hands-on training and formally turn over to the city government its full authority in managing the bridge.
The Japanese technology was used to construct this earthquake proof bridge, which consists of 300 meters steel cable stayed main bridge with concrete tower and steel deck plate girder on steel pipe pile foundation that spans the Agusan River about three kilometers upriver from the old Magsaysay Bridge in downtown Butuan and it connect the Philippine-Japan Friendship Highway or the Surigao-Agusan-Davao Road and the Butuan City-Cagayan- Iligan Road.
Engr. Butao appealed to the community in helping police authorities to be vigilant in their own area and added, "All the lightings installed in Diosdado Macapagal Bridge is photocell type, in other words, it automatically switched on when there's no more sunlight. We are provided with state of the art lighting facilities and it would be a loss to the people of Butuan if one day the whole bridge area is without illumination."
Last month, 1 out 3 suspects was apprehended for stealing more than 100 meters length electrical wires on that same bridge. Stolen wires can be stripped and sold to recyclers. (dxBN-Radyo ng Bayan Butuan) [top]