Probers look into property disputes in environmental lawyer’s murder
TAGBILARAN CITY—Investigators are looking into cases involving ownership of a hotel and a vehicle that slain lawyer Mia Manuelita Mascariñas-Green was handling to establish the motive in her murder.
Supt. Nicomedes Olaivar, city police chief, said Green, who was shot and killed by armed men in front of her three children here on Feb. 15, might have caught the ire of suspected mastermind Lloyd Lancer Gonzaga due to her zeal and commitment to defend the rights of her client, Conrada Blomqvist.
Police said Gonzaga was angry at Green when she barred him from the courtroom while Blomqvist was testifying in a recent hearing.
Gonzaga, police said, made “intimidating gestures” that threatened Blomqvist, the suspect’s mother-in-law.
Gonzaga and Green were also seen arguing outside the courtroom recently.
Police identified Romarico Benegian, 33, as one of the men who attacked Green.
Lawmen went to the Alona Embrace Hotel here on Friday to arrest Gonzaga and Benegian but they failed to find them there.
Alona Embrace Hotel is one of the properties that Blomqvist wants to recover from Gonzaga. The 38-room hotel sits on a 1,858-square-meter prime lot in Barangay Tawala, Panglao.
Another property that Blomqvist is recovering from Gonzaga is a Toyota Hi-Ace van.
The dispute on the ownership and land title of the Panglao property is pending at the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office while the van’s ownership is subject of a court case.
The dispute turned ugly on Aug. 19, 2016, when Benegian, Gonzaga and several armed men allegedly tried to take the van, which was parked near the law office of Green at Dampas District here.
Court documents showed Green sought police assistance but no one was arrested as Gonzaga and his men were allowed to leave. —LEO UDTOHAN
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