CEBU: The Philippine National Police (PNP) has assured Globe Telecom that it has embarked on a ‘massive search’ to apprehend those who stole copper cables in the Visayas in the aftermath of Super Typhoon ‘Odette’ on 16 last December.
Globe Telecom said it has repaired some lines knocked down by the typhoon, but some copper cables are still being stolen at night. This has affected services to customers in the region.
A statement released by the PNP Public Information Office (PNP-PIO) says they have arrested at least 30 people – including third-party contractors and even company field technicians – for allegedly stealing copper cables.
“The Philippine National Police has secured Globe Telecom’s full cooperation in a massive search for those involved in the illegal cutting and theft of copper cables that affected the restoration of services in its franchise areas in the Visayas,” said the PNP-PIO.
“Following the onslaught of Typhoon Odette in December 2021, Globe reported immediate rehabilitation of the facilities, but full restoration has dragged on due to this illegal activity,” he added.
Last year, the PNP captured 38 individuals and hunted 11 others for this illegal activity.
In a statement posted on its website, Globe said its services should be fully restored as soon as possible, but that has been delayed.
“Incidents of rampant cable cuts in Cebu, Bacolod and Bohol are making Globe restoration efforts more difficult in areas devastated by Typhoon Odette. The powerful tropical cyclone toppled cell sites in the Visayas region, including a large number are in Cebu. Main lines and secondary relief lines have also been compromised, including those in Bacolod and Bohol,” Globe said.
“Globe is in its final stages of restoration and hopes to reach 100% before the end of the summer. Unfortunately, unscrupulous individuals have interfered with the company’s operations by stealing copper cables used for telecommunications services.”
PNP leader General Dionardo Bernardo Carlos said police were working with the company to solve the problem, but some of the suspects they arrested were minors.
“We are in constant coordination with the telecommunications company’s security team. It is also unfortunate that some of those apprehended are minors who could have been used to quickly execute their modus,” Carlos said.
Odette ravaged the Philippines last December, including the Caraga region, before moving rapidly through the Central and Western Visayas towards Palawan. It caused more than 47 billion pesos in damage to agriculture and infrastructure.