Suspects in environmental lawyer's killing escape cops

Annie Perez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 18 2017 01:09 AM

Medical workers remove the body of slain lawyer Mia Mascarinas-Green. Photo courtesy of Nestor Daarol

Police are continuing the manhunt for 2 suspects in the killing of environmental lawyer Mia Mascarinas-Green, after they evaded arrest Thursday night in Bohol.

Authorities found Romanico Templano Benigi-an and Lloyd Lancer Gonzaga at a resort in Barangay Tawala, Panglao Island, but the suspects were able to escape. 

Police recovered firearms, a hand grenade, and two small packs suspected to contain methamphetamine hydrochloride or “shabu” in the suspects’ room at the resort. 

According to Supt. Nicomedes Olaivar, chief of the Tagbilaran City Police Station, the two were likely assassins paid to kill Mascarinas-Green.

They were arrested last year for the illegal possession of firearms.

Olaivar said that the motive for the murder was likely a land dispute case that the lawyer handled.

Mascarinas-Green's family offered a P500,000 reward for anyone who could help the authorities find Benigi-an and Gonzaga.

Mascarinas-Green’s husband Stuart Green told ABS-CBN News that they would welcome any information and will coordinate with the police in ensuring any informants remain safe. 

Meanwhile, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines’ (IBP) Cebu Chapter declared February 17 as a day of mourning for the environmental lawyer. 

Cebu lawyers wore black arm bands and black shirts to show their dismay and grief over the killing.

IBP Bohol members, friends, family, and government officials will join a justice walk for Mascarinas-Green on Saturday.

Governor Edgar Chatto of Bohol visited the wake of Mascarinas-Green and promised her family that all government agencies will work hard to provide speedy justice for the victim. He, however, denied that there are hired killers in Bohol.