Philippine leader tries toassure tourists after killings

6th May 2004, Comments 0 comments

6 May 2004 , MANILA - Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on Thursday took a break from her busy campaign schedule and flew to the resort island of Boracay to assure tourists the area was safe despite the killing of three Europeans, including a German property developer. Arroyo spent almost an hour in a luxury rest house where the grisly crime took place last weekend, and talked with investigators to get an update on the case. She was shown the kitchen knives used in the killings and was told that

6 May 2004

MANILA - Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on Thursday took a break from her busy campaign schedule and flew to the resort island of Boracay to assure tourists the area was safe despite the killing of three Europeans, including a German property developer.

Arroyo spent almost an hour in a luxury rest house where the grisly crime took place last weekend, and talked with investigators to get an update on the case.

She was shown the kitchen knives used in the killings and was told that investigators have taken into custody nine construction workers for further investigation.

The nine were among 25 construction workers interrogated shortly after the victims' bodies were discovered Monday inside the rest house on a hill on Boracay, 310 kilometres south of Manila.

Police are looking into robbery as a motive for the crime.

The victims were German property developer and rest house owner Anton Faustenhauser, Swiss millionaire and renowned art dealer Manfred Shoeni, British architect John Cowperthwaite and Filipino maid Irma Sarmiento.

Schoeni, a leading dealer in Chinese contemporary art with two galleries in Hong Kong, was building a villa next to Faustenhauser's rest house and employed the construction workers.

The victims were repeatedly stabbed after apparently putting up a fight with robbers, investigators said.

Arroyo assured tourists and residents that the crime was an isolated case and that the resort island has enough security forces to ensure peace and order in the area.

Boracay is home to more than 12,000 people, many of whom are Westerners who partly own some of the hotels, restaurants and bars on the island. It is considered relatively safe for tourists, being far from hotbeds of Muslim and communist insurgencies.

 

DPA

Subject: German news

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