Groups press cops to solve environmental lawyer’s killing
TAGBILARAN CITY—The murder of environmental lawyer Mia Manuelita Mascariñas-Green is far from solved as claimed by police following the identification of suspects and an order to get them dead or alive, according to a leader of a movement formed by groups demanding justice for Green.
The group, Justice for Atty. Mia Kalinaw sa Bohol (peace in Bohol) Movement, said the case would not be considered closed by the mere identification of two key suspects—Lloyd Gonzaga (the supposed mastermind) and Romarico Benegi-an (the gunman).
Four other suspects have not been identified.
The movement was formed on Friday to press police to solve Green’s murder and other unsolved crimes in the province.
“The call for justice for Mia (Green) is connected to the seeds of impunity that is an obstacle to attaining justice not just for Mia but for many cases here in Bohol, our peaceful Bohol,” said Pat Ruiz, board of director of the Bohol Nature and Conservation Society, one of the groups in the movement.
The movement is also composed of civil society groups, religious leaders, members of the academe, lawyers, friends and relatives of Green.
Day of impunity
Green was driving home on Feb. 15 with her three children and a nanny when she was waylaid at the corner of H. Zamora and J.A. Clarin Streets in Dao District in Tagbilaran.
The gunmen fired at the lawyer while her children watched in horror at the back seat of the vehicle.
Last week, charges of murder and multiple attempted murder were filed against key suspects Gonzaga, Benegi-an and two unidentified men.
Green was lawyer in civil and administrative cases filed against Gonzaga by the suspect’s mother-in-law, Conrada Blomqvist, in an attempt to recover her hotel and van that were taken by Gonzaga.
The hotel sits on a 1,858 square-meter prime lot on Ester A. Lim Drive, Barangay Tawala, Panglao, a prime tourist destination because of its white sand beach.
“The province will remain dangerous as long as justice remains elusive for Mia and other victims of impunity,” Ruiz said.
“So we should work together to correct this because without this justice will just be in vain,” she added.
Ruiz said she was dismayed at lapses in the investigation and how authorities handled the supposed hot pursuit operation against the suspects.
“Our conclusion is the police did not do enough, did not do its job efficiently,” Ruiz said.
Chief Supt. Noli Taliño, police director for Central Visayas, ordered police in Tagbilaran and Panglao investigated after Blomqvist accused them of protecting Gonzaga.
Talino also gave an order to capture Gonzaga and Benegi-an dead or alive.
A P600,000 bounty had been offered by the Green family and different groups.
Ruiz said the movement didn’t agree with the claim of police that the case was considered solved since the suspects had been identified.
She said police failed miserably to arrest the suspects.
The movement, she said, would serve as a “pressure group” to bring justice to Green.
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