The daughter of one of Britain’s most notorious aristocrats, Tony, the 3rd Lord Moynihan, has been found shot dead on a Philippines street, making her one of the most high-profile victims of President Rodrigo Duterte’s extra-judicial war on drugs which has now seen up to 2,000 alleged dealers and users assassinated.
Aurora Moynihan’s body was found dumped in a Manila street last weekend, with a hand-written cardboard sign on which were scrawled the words, “drug pusher to the celebrities you are next,” in the local language. CCTV footage released by police shows the moments before she was shot as she got out of her Toyota SUV at the corner of Temple Drive and Giraffe Street in Barangay Ugong Norte.
The Philippines Star newspaper, which published graphic images of the dead body, described her as an “alleged drug pusher to celebrities.”
The report added that the victim’s bag contained sachets of methamphetamine and drugs parephanelia, including four pieces of aluminium foil and two improvised glass smoking tubes.
Moynihan’s father, Tony, was known in the U.K. as the “runaway peer” for his habit of fleeing tricky situations back home. He made a break for the Philippines in late 1960s when facing a string of fraud allegations in the U.K.
After his death in 1991, his obituary described him as a “bongo-drummer, confidence trickster, brothel-keeper, drug-smuggler and police informer.”
His office in Manila bore a brass plaque with the legend, “Of the 36 ways of avoiding disaster, running away is the best.”
Moynihan was widely known to be involved in the Manila drug trade. In 1980 he was named by an Australian Royal Commission as part of a syndicate importing heroin from Manila.
He enjoyed the protection of President Ferdinand Marcos whom he referred to as, “my drinking chum.” Scotland Yard and the DEA used Moynihan to entrap Howard Marks, an Oxford University graduate who was one of the world’s biggest marijuana dealers.
Moynihan wore a wire during meetings with Marks in return for his own immunity and was chief witness for the prosecution of his old friend.
Marks described Moynihan, who died of a heart attack at age 55, as “a first-class bastard.”
Maritoni Fernandez said in a statement published in Filipino media: “In the early hours of September 10th, we lost my sister Aurora Moynihan.
“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 so that they, and 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,” she said.
“Thank you for your understanding.”