On February 15th, 2017, as she drove her three children home from school, Mia Manuelita “Atty. Mia” C. Mascariñas-Green, an environmental, women’s and children’s rights lawyer, was shot nine times in the head by a team of assailants. After killing Mia, assailants turned their guns on the three children, but miraculously their guns jammed twice, and as a crowd appeared around the incident, the assailants were forced to flee without harming the 10-year-old and twin one-year-olds in her hometown in Bohol Province, Philippines.
Mia was a lifelong advocate who believed that everyone, young or old, rich or poor, had rights and that ultimately the legal system would work for all. And she lived by her belief, making sure that everyone who walked into her office was given the time and support they needed. She very passionately pursued the interests of her clients, even in the face of great risk. She staunchly confronted at least four attempts to stop her through disbarment, all of which failed. She received death threats and shrugged them off as part of a lawyer’s job. She would re-evaluate the situation if needed, but, fearless in her convictions, she never backed down from any situation, dutifully doing her work, faithfully following the creed of her profession, and staying true to her promise to be fair while also making a difference in people’s lives.
But above all, Mia was a devoted, caring mother who always put her children first. The children were the center of her life. She ensured that every activity, whether waking up, drinking milk, going to sleep and especially bathing was a fun event for her 10-year-old daughter, Zoe Grace, and 23-month-old twins Eli James and Zia Grace. Having experienced losing her mother when she was six years old, she felt she needed to spend as much time with her children as she could. And she was a great mother to the end. In her final conscious moments, she thought only of her children: Instead of facing her assailants or attempting to defend herself, her final act was to turn her head to look at her three children, and she smiled as she saw that they were not hurt as the cowards fled.
For safety reasons and need to leave the pain of recent events behind the family are now relocating to the UK. Stuart and Mia's colleagues from the environmental development field have set up a trust fund for Zoe Grace, Zia Grace and Eli James to ensure they have the opportunity to be educated through university. Stuart has pledged to contribute at least 30% of his salary to the fund every year. Through this crowdfunding effort, we are raising funds in memory of Mia to contribute to the children’s trust fund, their safety, upbringing, and education in the UK.
Mia left us a precious legacy: standing up for the rights of the poor and communities, and a belief that the beautiful province of Bohol is truly a place where each person’s rights are respected and where people should be able to live in harmony with the culture, beauty and natural resources that Bohol provides. We hope that this legacy will forever inspire the community of people who fondly call and remember her as “Atty. Mia,” the very fair lady who was available any time of day or night to help out with any situation. We are confident that her legacy will live on through her children, Zoe, Eli and Zia, who will be raised to remember their mother as a very strong, principled and fair leader, and a great role model.
In honor of Mia, her devotion to the rights of all people, and her legacy, we invite you to contribute either by sharing any amount to the trust fund or forwarding on this page. We hope to help ensure that her dream for her children becomes a reality. Your donation will go directly to a trust fund in the name of the children in the United Kingdom.