Environmental lawyer shot dead in front of kids in Bohol
TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol — An environmental lawyer was shot and killed by still unidentified gunmen while she was driving her three young children home in the capital city of Tagbilaran, Bohol, on Wednesday afternoon.
Mia Manuelita Cumba Masacariñas-Green, 49, died of bullet wounds in the head and body. Her children, one aged 9 and her two-year-old twins, were unharmed but they were shocked and shaken.
Supt. Nicomedes Olaivar, Tagbilaran police chief, said they were still determining, as of Wednesday night, the motive behind the killing. He said they would check the cases she had handled to find out if the killing was job-related.
Masacariñas-Green was known as an environmental lawyer when she was a member of the Environmental Legal Assistance Center (ELAC). She had also handled civil and criminal cases.
Olaivar said the victim was driving her children home to Centro 1, Dampas District, Tagbilaran past 4 p.m. on Wednesday, when she was shot.
As her Toyota Innova (plate number ABM 9572) reached the corner of H. Zamora and J.A. Clarin Streets in Dao District at 4:27 p.m., two motorcycles blocked the road and fired at her.
Her children were seated on the passenger seat in the back, but the perpetrators aimed their guns at Masacariñas-Green and hit their target.
Olaivar said witnesses told the police that the assailants’ motorcycles didn’t have plate numbers. They also left immediately after firing at the victim and headed toward Corella town.
At least 24 empty shells were recovered from the crime scene.
Masacariñas-Green was hit in the head and body and was rushed to the Holy Name University Medical Center where she died.
Olaivar said police investigators had yet to determine the motive behind the attack as manhunt operation had been launched against the gunmen.
“She was really a passionate and devoted lawyer,” said lawyer Ted Lagang, president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP)-Bohol chapter.
Provincial board member Abeleon Damalerio, who rushed to the hospital upon hearing what happened, said Masacariñas-Green was a lawyer devoted to her profession.
“She was always prepared for the cases she was handling. Her level of devotion to her cases could not be questioned,” said Damalerio.
Lagang condemned the killing and called on authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice. SFM