ATTY MIA MANUELITA Â CUMBA MASCARINAS- GREEN,Â is a shining gem of our community -lost in the vortex of greed and Â violence.
She was not just Â a diamond on the rough, She was the real deal.Â
Among the most formidable professionals is a CPA-lawyer, experts in both Â numbers and letters of the law. To beÂ Â summa cum laude Â Â in both demanding fields is to be aÂ rara avis ,Â a rare bird in a country swimming in a sea of Â lawyers and accountants.
But that is not what defines Mia, the person. After all hundreds are there whose intellect they use for purely private gain using unethical means. Mia had a heart of gold for the poor and the oppressed.Â
Even in college at the Holy Name University she was already championing such causes , making sure there was the word Â “Christian” before her groups’ names Â to tell the world she was doing her advocacy in the holy name of Jesus.Â
Atty Green, 49, married to a British marine biologist, was likewise an environmentalist- a lonely crusade because she will be pitted against powerful men Â who would rape the environment to enrich themselves.Â
The national print and broadcast media as well as international groups had noted her “courageous and brave lawyering” ( per her colleagues) in this nation which is dubbed the second “most dangerous country” for environmentalists in the world next to Brazil.
Before being so, Mia was also Â a fixture in the agrarian and human rights fights under the NUPL ( National Union of People’s Lawyers). Â In short, she offered her gigantic intellect , precious life and soul on the altar of others.
It is not Â entirely shocking , therefore, that the forces of evil snuffed the life out of the lightning rod that she was -because she Â disturbed their environment of darkened vileness. Â It was the most barbaric act of assassination perpetrated before the shocked three children and a nanny last Wednesday in Dao- a day after Valentines Day Â while her husband Stuart was in a foreign engagement.
The psychological trauma etched forever in the minds of the feeble kids will surely disturb their psyche for the rest of their lives. What kind of law was violated under our Constitution for their violation? Who will pay for such crime?
Thirty empty slug shells were found at the scene of the crime which meant the suspects made sure she died -and would take no prisoners. And that they were extremely angry with her.
The entire Bohol community- laity and the church -condemned as one the viciousness of the assault. A mass was held at the scene of the crime yesterday morning reconsecrating it into a kind of holy ground as a sign of “Pagyukbo” , a loving reverence to a brave woman.Â
The city and the IBP-Bohol Chapter are reportedly readying a pool of funds to lead to the arrest of the perpetrators of this dastardly act.
The drama has evolved into a crescendo when talks there are that the two suspects (pointed by witnesses) Â who are reportedly from Davao had dropped hints to their Â alleged close affiliation to the president and PNP chief Bato De La Rosa.
It is good that the CIDG and the NBI will do a separate probe.
There are disturbing Â questions that need serious answers soon.
If the killing was due to a land dispute over a 38-room hotel in fabulous Panglao – what will a lawyer’s death Â do to affect the outcome of the case? There are talks the case was coming to a close with the verdict accordingly likely to favor the victim’s client, one, Conrada Blonquist – mother in law of the prime suspect who currently owns the hotel. Â
Will the presiding judge at RTC Branch 2 come out pronto Â with a decision soon? There were already indications that “goons” allegedly harassed Mia and her client in the course of the trial. Did they not trust the police to provide them protection by not asking for it?
Since the suspect and his allies were earlier Â arrested in October 2016 for possession of unlicensed firearms and drugs (but released on bail) -why were they not monitored seriously thereafter? The post-murder raid yielded the same mess Â in the hotel-resort- guns and drugs. Above the law?
The poor drug addict victims’ families Â today Â could feel justified in resenting that many of them of them are killed like dogs while some groups are treated with kid’s gloves- especially those with money and influence.
The PNP, NBI Â and CIDG should nail the suspects soon Â and bring them face to face with General Bato and see if they will still feel a kind of entitlement Â due to their Â alleged affiliation. Gen Bato Â before had shed tears -aghast over the many pitfalls of the war against criminality.
General Bato should prove they were not just crocodile tears and assign the best men to nail the culprits to the ground.Â
Bohol just lost one of her best fighting women in the profession – with many environmental battles still be to be waged in the near future. Â The Joan of Ark of her profession will be sorely missed.
We hope that justice will be served well in Mia’s case -and that of her client in the disputed land.Â
The authorities should leave no stone unturned and have them Â put the suspects to jail with strong direct and corroborating evidence; may they be imprisoned for life.Â
That is one way of assuaging the fears of many lawyers now – witnessing the cruel murder on the streets- that they can still accept cases against the strong and the mighty without intimidation and threat to life. Â Â
Mia’s case should not go the road of another Â past Valentine’s Day murder at the DYRD premises of radioman Chairman Mau , an anti drug advocate. A suspect has been collared – but we have not seen concrete steps towards a final resolution any time soon years after.
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We fear that this sense of creeping impunity and cavalier attitude towards Â the life of another person (and the turtle-pace of our justice system) especially those serving Â the noble professions of lawyering and media Â will make our society Â believe that eminence in the community belongs only Â to those who wield the guns and influence. What kind of society shall we become after this?
The vicious death of a dedicated lawyer in broad daylight -pardon us ,ladies and gentlemen- gives us a Â very strong message that something wrong- something horribly wrong – is prevailing in our once peaceful, God-centered community.
No civic minded citizen should take this murder so foul -sitting down. He could be the next victim of such horrid impunity.
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