Army, Cops on Alert to Prevent Violence in Marawi

COTABATO CITY - Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) caretaker-Governor Mujib Hataman met with police and military officials in Marawi City and in Lanao del Sur over the weekend to take appropriate measures to prevent violence after the deadline last Thursday for Jachob ''Coco'' Rasuman to return P3 billion to his victims.

Rasuman collected the amount through an illegal pyramid money market scheme that landed him in jail.

At least 20,000 individuals claimed that they have invested in Rasuman's pyramiding scheme, including those belonging to Maranaw clans in Marawi City and Lanao del Sur.

The military-led anti-crime Task Force Ranao and operatives of the Lanao del Sur provincial police, headed by Senior Supt. Marcelo Pintac, have been deployed in Marawi City's strategic areas to prevent an outbreak of trouble from Rasuman's indignant victims.

Hataman, who chairs the ARMM's peace and order council, also met behind closed-door with Lanao del Sur Governor Mamintal Adiong Jr., and representatives of the police and the military, to prevent bloodshed that may erupt due to Rasuman's failure to pay up until Saturday.

Hataman, however, did not reveal the security plans but told reporters that the police were ordered to ensure that no violence will erupt, and maintain peace and calmness in the city and its surroundings.

Lanao del Sur and Marawi City are both parts of the ARMM regional government.

Earlier, victims of pyramiding scam threatened to harm Rasuman's relatives in Marawi and in Lanao del Sur unless their ''investments'' are returned by February 28.

Adiong said there were reports that Rasuman's innocent relatives were abducted by gunmen and demanded that he return the investment from people he allegedly duped through his pyramiding scam.

Police later learned that the ''abducted relatives'' were freed after they promised to return the investment through real properties like lands, houses, cars, and some cash.

Hataman said the situation in Marawi and in Lanao del Sur remained under police and military control.

Calmness prevailed the past two days after the deadline set forth by irate investment scam victims.

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