'Pray for answers': hunt for killer of Aussie couple

A two-week holiday has turned into tragedy for an Australian couple as their families seek answers over a triple murder in a luxury Philippines hotel.

The bodies of David James Fisk, 57, his wife Lucita Barquin Cortez, 55, and her Filipina friend were found at the Lake Hotel in Tagaytay, a popular resort city south of the capital Manila.

Their hands and feet were tied and packing tape covered their mouths, police said.

Lake Hotel Tagaytay
The Australian couple was staying at a luxury hotel in an area popular with tourists and locals.

The couple's family said they were praying for more information about their loved ones after police launched a manhunt following the grim discovery on Thursday.

"The love we have for our father and Lucita is so dear and this situation is like living a nightmare," the family said in a statement on Friday.

"We pray for answers and the truth in this horrific matter and just pray for their safe return to Australian shores."

The couple had travelled to Asia for two weeks, beginning the holiday in Bali before heading to the Philippines to see Ms Cortez's family and friends.

The pair planned to return to Sydney on Saturday.

Image of person leading motel room of murder victims
Police are searching for a person captured on CCTV leaving the room of the victims.

Tagaytay police are trying to identify and track down the suspects.

Police chief Charles Daven Capagcuan said one of the leads was CCTV footage of a masked, hooded man carrying a sling bag walking out of the victims' room a few hours before their bodies were discovered.

He said a motive for the killings was unknown and some valuables, including the victims' phones, were not taken.

Investigators are interviewing witnesses and examining security cameras at the hotel.

Police regional director Paul Kenneth T Lucas said a task force had been established to investigate the murders.

David Fisk
Davis Fisk and his partner travelled to the Philippines from Bali and were due to return to Sydney.

"For now, we are conducting a thorough investigation based on the evidence that we have collected in our initial investigation," he said.

"Our task group conducted back-tracking of CCTV footage and follow-up investigation for the possible identification of the suspect, rest assured that we will provide updates on any new information that comes to light on this case."

Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed it was providing consular assistance to the families of victims.

Tagaytay Mayor Abraham Tolentino said he was shocked by the incident and apologised to the families of the victims.

"We’re very sorry to our Australian friends," he said.

"We will resolve this as soon as possible."

Murdered Australian tourists
The victims were staying at the luxury Lake Hotel in Tagaytay, south of Manila.

The remains of Mr Fisk would be flown to Sydney and the two women would be buried in the Philippines, Mr Tolentino said.

He said the government would pay for the women's funeral and burial.

Tagaytay, about 60km south of Manila, is popular among local and foreign tourists who flock there for its cool weather and to view one of the world's smallest active volcanoes nestled in the middle of a lake.

with AP

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