TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol- A female 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 in Bohol on Wednesday afternoon.
Mia Manuelita Cumba Masacariñas-Green, 49, died after she was repeatedly shot in the head and body.
Her children aged 9 and two-year-old twins were unharmed but shocked and shaken.
Superindent Nicomedes Olaivar, Tagbilaran police chief, said they have yet to determine the motive in 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 lawyer was driving her children home to Centro 1, Dampas District, Tagbilaran on Wednesday when her Toyota Innova (plate number ABM 9572), upon reaching the corner of H. Zamora Street and J.A. Clarin Street in Dao District at 4:27 p.m., was blocked by armed men riding in two motorcycles who immediately fired at her the moment she stopped her car.
The armed men kept on shooting at the lawyer, in the presence of her terrified children who were seated at the passenger seat in the back of the vehicle.
Olaivar said witnesses told the police that the assailants’ motorcycles did not have plate numbers. They fled towards Corella town. At least 24 empty shells were recovered from the crime scene.
Masacariñas-Green was rushed to the Holy Name University Medical Center where she died, Olaivar said.
Olaivar said investigators were 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 Philippine (IBP)-Bohol chapter.
Bohol 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.