UK aristocrat’s daughter killed

The President’s Children: Sebastian, Veronica, Sara and Paolo escort their father to the inauguration ceremony.

Rodrigo Duterte’s children, from the left, Sebastian, Veronica, Sara and Paolo escort their father to his inauguration ceremony in June. Source: Wikimedia

The daughter of a late British aristocrat has been shot dead in Manila, according to the police, amid ongoing drug-related killings.

The body of Maria Aurora Moynihan, 45, was found on the street on September 10 next to a sign reading “drug pusher to the celebrities you’re next!”

Moynihan had been on bail after being arrested in a drug raid in 2013.

Her father, Baron Anthony Moynihan of Britain’s House of Lords, was known for links to drug smuggling, fraud and prostitution in the archipelago.

Police said the death was being treated as “a murder case first and foremost”.

Moynihan had previously been charged with drug use after being arrested in a buy-bust operation in 2013, Quezon police’s Superintendent Guillermo Eleazar told CNN.

She was found in possession of cannabis, crystal methamphetamine and ecstasy, but was not charged with dealing drugs, according to Eleazar.

“Witnesses told us they heard a series of gunshots, then saw a vehicle leaving the area,” Chief Inspector Tito Jay Cuden was quoted saying by AFP. Packs of methamphetamine were found with her body, police claimed.

A police investigation is reportedly ongoing.

Moynihan was the sister of Filipino celebrity Maritoni Fernandez. Their mother, who once ran a group of massage parlours, met Moynihan after he fled to the Philippines following a series of fraud allegations against him in Britain.

Fernandez asked for some space so “we as a family may take this time to grieve, mourn but most of all celebrate the life of this exceptional human being I will forever have the privilege of calling my sister”.

“We as a family have one priority and truth at this point in time and that is to protect her children from further pain and suffering,” Fernandez said.

Antony Moynihan moved to the Philippines in the late 1960s after a colourful career in which his chief occupations were “bongo-drummer, confidence trickster, brothel-keeper, drug-smuggler and police informer”, according to his Daily Telegraph obituary.

In Manila, Moynihan was involved in the heroin trade as an associate of Sydney’s “Double Bay Mob”, according to a 1980 Australian Royal Commission report.

Although he was never convicted of any drug offences, Moynihan secretly recorded conversations with notorious Welsh cannabis smuggler Howard Marks for US law enforcement authorities, leading to Marks’ imprisonment.

More than 3,000 people with alleged links to drug addictions or dealing have been killed since President Rodrigo Duterte took office, by the police and vigilante groups with alleged links to them.