MANILA (1st UPDATE) - A soldier was killed after armed men strafed the home of Jacob “Coco” Rasuman in Panggao Saduc, Marawi City on Friday.
The fatality was identified as Pfc Oward John Abellana of the 65th Infantry Battalion, who was assigned to guard Rasuman’s residence.
Initial investigations showed that riding-in-tandem suspects fired at the gate at around 11:45 a.m.
Marawi City Police Investigator SPO1 Ali Rangiris said the suspects then seized the M14 firearm of the soldier.
An investigation into the incident was still being conducted as of posting.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima earlier opted to keep Rasuman, accused of an investment scam amounting to over a billion pesos, at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) headquarters in Manila for his own safety.
"Mas safe dito... nandoon mga galit na investors... preferred ng NBI and government authorities, dito na muna because of the highly volatile situation [in the South]," De Lima said last year after Rasuman's arrest.
She said Rasuman faced numerous threats from alleged duped investors of his investment firm. He had sought protective custody from state forces last August.
Rasuman was arrested on November 27, 2012 by a combined force of the NBI, police, and military operatives from his Marawi City residence.
The arrest was ordered by a Cagayan De Oro City (CDO) trial court hearing the syndicated estafa charge against him and several others. -- With reports from Ronnie Enderes, ABS-CBN News Iligan; Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News