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‘Murder incident’: DFAT assisting after two Australians found dead in the Philippines, mayor apologises

Caleb Runciman and Remy Varga
The Nightly
The couple were found at a hotel in the province of Cavite south of the capital of Manila. 
The couple were found at a hotel in the province of Cavite south of the capital of Manila.  Credit: AP

Filipino police say two Australians were murdered at a popular resort south of Manila before a hotel worker found their bodies bound inside a room.

Three people — consisting of an Australian man, his Phillipine-born female partner and her Filipina relative — were found dead inside a room at Lake Hotel in Tagaytay City, according to a police statement provided to the Associated Press.

A worker at the resort found the three victims inside a room, where their hands and feet were tied with both electrical tape and shoelaces, according to local media.

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A man potentially linked to their deaths was captured on CCTV entering the hotel on Wednesday morning before they were discovered by staff later in the day after they failed to check out of the resort.

It is reported the trio’s faces were covered with tape.

“CCTV footage showed a male suspect in a black hoodie, maroon shorts, and sneakers, with a knapsack leaving the room of the victims and heading towards the exit of the hotel,” the media outlet said.

It is reported the man, who police are trying to identify, was seen by a security guard with a hotel key card.

Their cause of death remains unknown.

The incident has been described as a “murder incident” as police continue their hunt for anyone associated with their deaths.

Tagaytay Mayor Abraham Tolentino told AP the community was “shocked” by their deaths.

“We’re very sorry to our Australian friends,” he said. “We will resolve this as soon as possible.”

It is believed the Australian couple were aged in their 50s while the third victim was in her early 30s.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is providing consular assistance after their bodies were found in the Philippines.

A DFAT spokesman said they would not provide further details due to the department’s privacy obligations.

“The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is providing consular assistance to the families of two Australians who have died in the Philippines,” he said.

“We send our condolences to the families at this difficult time.”

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