Tagbilaran court junks bail plea of Mia’s alleged killer

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Tagbilaran court junks bail plea of Mia’s alleged killer

Topic |  

Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 1 Presiding Judge Lindecita C. Arcamo ordered the continued detention of one of the main suspects in the brutal killing of Atty. Manuelita “Mia” Mascariñas-Green after finding the prosecution’s evidence of his guilt of the crime of murder “strong”.

Lloyd Lancer Gonzaga’s petition for bail was denied by the court in an 11-page order done on January 5, 2018, on the strength of the “positive identification” of Lita Muring Galupo that she saw the accused together with Romarico Benegian, who is still at large, of killing Atty. Green.

A bitter ownership dispute over a 1,858 sq.m. 38 room Alona Embrace Hotel located in Barangay Tawala, Panglao and possession of a Toyota Hi-Ace van between Gonzaga and his mother-in-law, Conrada Blomqvist allegedly led to the killing of Atty. Mia.

Blomqvist sought the legal assistance of the lady lawyer.



Galupo, one of several eyewitnesses of the prosecution and the nanny of the three children of Stuart and Mia Green since 2014 were the lone witness presented during the bail hearing on December 

The witness further told the court that she was sure seeing Gonzaga as one of the gunmen but when asked to identify Benigian inside the court, she answered that the person is not present.

The order cited section 7, rule 114 of the Rules of Court which states that a person charged with a capital offense, or an offense punishable by life imprisonment, shall not be granted bail when evidence of guilt is strong, regardless of the stage of the criminal prosecution.


Gonzaga is facing a criminal case for murder for the killing of Atty. Mascariñas-Green and attempted murder of her three children and Galupo, who were all seated in the rear seat of the Toyota Innova car the victim was driving at the time of the crime.

Atty. Green, who was on her way home to Barangay Tontonan, Loon, Bohol was ambushed and killed in broad daylight in the afternoon of February 15, 2017 in what police labeled as a cold bloodied “military type operation” allegedly perpetrated by Gonzaga, Benigian, and several unidentified persons at the corner of Purok 2, Zamora and J.A. Clarin Sts., Tagbilaran City.

Responders from the Tagbilaran City Rescue Unit rushed Green to the Holy Name University Medical Center where she was reported to have expired two hours later. But according to the police, Green was declared dead on arrival (DOA).

The bullet-riddled body of the 49-year-old lawyer-accountant bore nine gunshot wounds in the head – two in the right side of the neck, one in the right eyebrow and ear, one in the left side of her neck, left ear, left side of the head and two in the jawbone (mandible).

According to the Certificate of Death signed by Dr. Teomin Casano, of the City Health Office, Atty. Mia died from multiple gunshot wounds to the head and neck on both sides.

Recovered by the Philippine National Police (PNP) Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO)  were 17 9mm fired cartridges, six .45 caliber cartridges, five deformed fired bullets and the family car drilled with bullets.

“The number of wounds on the victim cogently indicated that the ones inflicting them were attackers.”, according to the court.


For the first time, nine months after the brazen and gruesome slaying of Atty. Mia, star witness Galupo confronted one of the alleged killers in a gripping court drama and gave a chilling account of the murder where she unflinchingly pointed at Gonzaga as one of the gunmen.

Shaking and crying, Galupo recalled before the court the harrowing scenes before, during and after the killing where she bellowed “if you were just there.”

After emptying their guns at the dying lawyer, a smirking Benigian and Gonzaga attempted to fire at Galupo and Atty. Mia’s three kids but apparently, their guns jammed, according to the testimony of Galupo.

Gonzaga is now detained at the Tagbilaran City Jail after a 5-month massive police manhunt that led to his arrest in Davao City on June 30, 2017. 

Shaking and crying, Galupo recalled before the court the harrowing scenes before, during and after the killing where she bellowed “if you were just there.”


According to her testimony, Galupo claimed she recognized Gonzaga “whom she saw at the time of the incident while she was inside the vehicle.”

Galupo recalled that after the incident, she was shown more than 20 pictures by the police and identified two of the photos as those of Gonzaga and Benigian.

Galupo also said that after the incident, she caught sight of a car colored blue following Gonzaga and Benigian and the other assailants towards the direction of Corella and tagged the vehicle as the same car that Gonzaga was riding on August 19, 2016 during a commotion outside the residence of Atty. Mia.

Galupo painstakingly detailed before the court that after leaving the law office of Atty. Mia located near the barangay hall in Dampas, Tagbilaran City, a motorcycle suddenly blocked their car upon reaching Zamora corner J.A. Clarin Sts.,  prompting Atty. Mia to step on the brakes.

 When shots rang out, “she looked in front and saw two gunmen firing guns and immediately, she transferred to the back seat from the middle seat in the car and covered the children.”

Galupo identified Gonzaga as the person positioned 4 to 5 meters from the right door of the vehicle firing a gun and Benigian at the left side of the car also firing a gun.

The eyewitness portrayed Gonzage in her affidavit as a “stout person with round face and short” who was at the right door of the car and tried but failed to open the car door and fled the scene of the crime in a motorcycle.

She further stated that It was Benigian whom she described as “fat, but taller with round face and big red eyes” who tried to open the left door of the car and fired at the neck of Atty. Mia after which he pointed the gun at her and the three children, pulled the trigger twice but the gun failed to fire.

According to her testimony, Benigian “ran away going towards Corella” after the shooting.


Galupo was asked by the defense to stare at Gonzaga for ten seconds to ascertain if the accused is still the same person she claimed fired a gun and killed the lawyer considering the difference in weight and height since the time of the murder.

The defense even brought up her religion as a Roman Catholic reminding her of the ten commandments, particularly the 9th commandment against bearing false witness against anyone.

Despite the defense “exhaustive and grueling” cross-examination, Galupo “stood firm in identifying the accused Lloyd Lancer Gonzaga and Romarico Benigian as the two armed men on that occasion firing guns at Atty. Manuelita Mascariñas-Green”, according to the court records. 

Galupo “remained steadfast that she is not lying because her statements are true as she saw Lloyd Lancer Gonzaga killing Atty. Manuelita Mascariñas-Green,” the court order further stated.


However, Gonzaga maintained his innocence sticking to his affidavit that he and his wife, Cresta Monica were in Davao City on the day of the murder of Atty. Mia.

 Also, their vehicle, a Toyota Fortuner was loaded aboard the Lite Shipping Ro-Ro vessel at the Jagna port bound for Cagayan de Oro City, according to Gonzaga.

Gonzaga presented official receipt (OR) dated February 14, 2017, issued by Lite Shipping for the transportation of his Toyota Fortuner from Jagna, Bohol to Cagayan de Oro City.

Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) footages to bolster their claim as to their presence in their parent’s residence in Ladislawa Garden Village in Davao City were also presented as proof of their arrival on February 15, 2017.

The criminal complaints against the four suspects were filed by Green and Galupo together with elements of the Criminal and Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Police Chief Inspector (C/Insp.) Erwin Lacostales, Deputy Commander, Head of Task Force Green, Police Senior Inspector (S/Insp.) David Niluag, Police Investigation and Detection Management Branch (PIDM) and Senior Police Officer l (SPOl) Agosto Cesario Sumaylo, Tagbilaran City Police Station (TCPS) case investigator.

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Bohol Chapter represented by two former IBP Presidents – Atty. Teodoro Lagang and Atty. Menedio Thaddeus  Bernido together with  Atty. Antonio “Jun” Amora, Jr. is collaborating with the Office of the City Prosecutor in the murder cases. (Chito M. Visarra)


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