The Philippines: Murder in paradise

March 27, 2017

The Manila Times Online

TWENTY-EIGHT shots were fired, eight hit their target and killed 49-year-old lawyer Manuelita “Mia” Mascariñas-Green the day after Valentine’s Day. Five bullets hit the lawyer’s neck and three her head. Green was driving home with her three young children and their yaya when they were attacked in broad daylight in Tagbilaran City, the capital of the province of Bohol. The killers got away by driving their motorcycles into a vehicle that was waiting near the crime scene.

Principal suspects Lloyd Lancer Gonzaga and Romarico Benigi-an, not hiding their faces, were identified by several witnesses. Gonzaga is the son-in-law of 52-year-old widow Conrada Otero-Blomqvist who had hired Green to handle her cases against Gonzaga. Blomqvist, her daughter and Gonzaga lived in Sweden until Blomqvist bought a 38-room resort in Brgy. Tawala, Panglao from Jovelyn Acebedo-Forsberg, her niece. Together, mother, daughter and son-in-law, were going to run the resort. In June 2015, using 20 armed men reportedly from Davao City, Gonzaga—who hails from Tagum City—took control of the resort and the Forsberg family was driven away (Bohol Chronicle).

In July 2016, Gonzaga evicted Blomqvist who then hired Green. According to Blomqvist, her niece had executed a power of attorney for the deed of sale in her favor but Gonzaga was now claiming Alona Embrace Hotel for himself. Blomqvist told Swedish news publication Expressen that she chose Green because the latter had a reputation for being loyal and for taking good care of her clients. They were like sisters, according to Blomqvist. Gonzaga and Blomqvist retained a Davao City-based lawyer when they were still on good terms. Mr. Forsberg, it turns out, still has legal rights over the resort and retains a lawyer.

http://www.manilatimes.net/murder-in-paradise/319356/

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