Aurora Moynihan, the daughter of a notorious runaway British peer, the 3rd Lord Moynihan, has been shot dead in the Philippines amid the country's increasingly bloody war on drugs.

• Read full story here: Philippines president's death squads kill Baron Moynihan's daughter
How did it happen?

A body was found dumped in a Manila street last weekend. It was identified as that of Aurora Moynihan. Police said the 45-year-old was found with sachets of drugs and next to a cardboard sign reading "drug pusher to the celebrities you are next".

Why was she in the Philippines?


She was the daughter of the playboy baron Tony Moynihan, who fled to the Philippines in late 1960s facing a string of fraud allegations in the UK. Her sister Maritoni Fernandez is an actress.

Why was she killed?

The country has seen a wave of vigilante killings since the election of its new President Rodrigo Duterte, who advocates an extreme crackdown on drugs and crime. He has been accused of encouraging the deaths of more than 3000 people in drug-related vigilante killings since he came to power. Police in Manila's Quezon district were reported in local media as saying that Moynihan had not been on a drug watch list but that her death was nevertheless considered to be drugs-related.

How has her family reacted?

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. Thank you for your understanding."

What was her father known for?

Moynihan's father was one of the most colourful but notorious aristocrats of his age. An obituary in the Daily Telegraph, following his death in 1991, described him as a "bongo-drummer, confidence trickster, brothel-keeper, drug-smuggler and police informer". He was named in his absence at an Old Bailey trial as "the evil genius" behind a series of frauds, the judge describing it as "a case of Hamlet without the Prince of Denmark".

Does Duterte have a history of violence?

In a hearing in the Philippine Senate this month, a witness claimed Duterte paid him to carry out executions that involved, among other things, feeding a body to a crocodile, chopping up corpses and murder by packing tape. The witness, Edgar Matobato, spoke at Senate hearings investigating the extra-judicial killings. Matobato said he spent years working as part of the so-called "Davao Death Squad," a group of killers associated with the President's time as a city mayor. Matobato's claims, which have not been independently confirmed, linked Duterte and his son, Paolo Duterte, to a list of crimes worthy of a gangster film.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte poses with Philippine Army Scout Rangers at their headquarters at Camp Tecson in San Miguel, north of Manila. Photo / AP
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte poses with Philippine Army Scout Rangers at their headquarters at Camp Tecson in San Miguel, north of Manila. Photo / AP

Who did he target?

Matobato said he and fellow assassins referred to then-Mayor Duterte using the code name, "Charlie Mike," and he ordered them to kill dozens of people ranging from drug pushers, to the dance-instructor boyfriend of Duterte's sister, to a millionaire hotelier. "People in Davao City were like chickens - they were being killed without any reason," said Matobato.

How did the lawmakers react?

The hearing's chair, Senator Leila de Lima, is a longtime critic of Duterte's human rights record. She said she saw the testimony as a step towards truth and justice for victims of the President's alleged purges, past and present. "People deserve to know," she said. A Duterte ally present at the hearing, Senator Alan Cayetano, dismissed Matobato's sworn testimony as "lies," questioning his credibility and casting the whole process as a politically motivated plot against the President. A spokesman for the President denied the specific allegations.

What does Duterte say?

Duterte swept to power this year promising to crackdown on crime, just as he did as mayor in Davao, where he earned a reputation for strongman tactics and was christened "the death-squad mayor" for allegedly overseeing extra-judicial killings. During this year's campaign Duterte did not shy away from his "death squad" moniker, promising he would kill 100,000 criminals in six months. "When I become president, I'll order the police and the military to find these people and kill them. The funeral parlours will be packed. . . I'll supply the dead bodies," he said.

- additional reporting Washington Post