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Environmental lawyer shot dead in front of

kids in Bohol
By: Leo Udtohan - Correspondent / @leoudtohanINQ
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 11:26 PM February 15, 2017

Ambush investigation (File photo by Junjie Mendoza, CDN/INQUIRER)

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 Wednesdayafternoon.
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

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

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

Lawyers, judges are being
killed, too
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 10:36 PM January 22, 2013

The Dec. 1, 2012, editorial on the Maguindanao massacre (“Crime Philippines?”) hit the proverbial
nail on the head when it stressed an evident truth: Not only journalists but also ordinary citizens
have been victimized by various forms of criminality in what appears to be a breakdown of law
and order across the country.

The breakdown is so extensive that even lawyers and judges are being killed with impunity as
frequently as during the Arroyo administration.

On June 22, 2010, shortly before President Aquino assumed office, lawyer Ernesto Salunat, a
human rights lawyer in Nueva Vizcaya, was murdered by motorcycle-riding men.


The list has been getting longer under the Aquino administration since then: Aug. 4, 2010,
prosecutor Macadatar Marsangca, Iligan City; Oct. 4, 2010, Judge Reynaldo Lacasandile, Tagudin,
Ilocos Sur;

Jan. 19, 2011, Judge Fredelito Pingao, Currimao, Ilocos Norte; Aug. 5, 2011, lawyer Archer
Baldwin Martinez, Dumaguete City;

Aug. 3, 2012, lawyer Manolo Zerna, Tanjay City, Negros Oriental; Aug. 18, 2012, lawyer Xerxes
Balios Camacho, former president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, Northern Samar
chapter; Sept. 20, 2012, lawyer Nicomedes Romagos, in Cataingan, Masbate; Oct. 29, 2012,
lawyer Lazaro Gayo in Agoo, La Union; Nov. 14, 2012, lawyer Sulpicio Landicho, Tanauan City,

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This pattern of killings appears to be after the proposed formula of Dick, the butcher in William
Shakespear’s “Henry VI,” for breaking peace and order in society: “The first we do, let us kill all
the lawyers.”

According to IBP president Roan Libarios, in the last 10 years, at least 200 lawyers and judges
have been shot in cold blood (Inquirer, 6/28/12). Most of these murders remain unsolved, with
police authorities using the perennial line “lack of evidence and witnesses” to justify their failure,
thereby generating a feeling of helplessness among the general public. If lawyers and judges could
be killed in broad daylight with impunity, how much more ordinary citizens?

This also shows the Aquino administration’s appalling failure, nay, ineptness, in complying with
international conventions. The UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, adopted by the Eighth
UN Congress on the Prevention of Crimes and Treatment of Offenders in September 1990,
requires governments to ensure that lawyers are able to perform all their professional functions
without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference. It likewise requires
authorities to provide adequate safeguards when the security of lawyers is threatened as a result of
discharging their functions

We join the call for the Aquino administration to also address the rampant killing of lawyers and
judges. Lawyers and judges are an indispensable part of our judicial system; unless the killing of
law professionals is stopped, it will not be long before our judicial system breaks down.

Source: http://opinion.inquirer.net/45373/lawyers-judges-are-being-killed-too#ixzz4pB0Os0oS