Gunman in Sytin slay pleads guilty
OLONGAPO CITY, Zambales, Philippines — A confessed assassin on Wednesday pleaded guilty to the murder of businessman Dominic Sytin inside the Subic Bay Freeport on Nov. 28 last year.
Edgardo Luib, who wore a bulletproof vest, entered his guilty plea during his arraignment before Judge Richard Paradeza of the Olongapo City Regional Trial Court Branch 72.
Security was tightened around the Hall of Justice here as members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group escorted Luib to the courtroom at 9 a.m.
Dominic’s wife, Ann, and his two other brothers were present.
Police arrested Luib on March 5 in Sto. Tomas town, Batangas province. He was implicated in other murder cases, including the 2015 slaying of former Inquirer correspondent Melinda Magsino in Batangas City.
Luib had issued an extrajudicial confession identifying Dominic’s younger brother, Dennis, as the mastermind in the killing of the businessman.
He also implicated Oliver Fuentes, alias Ryan Rementilla, a former employee of Dennis at United Auctioneers Inc. (UAI), in the slaying. He said Fuentes acted as the middleman.
At the time of his death, Dominic, 51, was president of UAI, which he founded, at the Subic Bay Freeport.
After the arraignment, Luib told reporters that he “admitted [killing Dominic] because my conscience was bothering me.”
Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Richard Anthony Fadullon said Luib’s guilty plea would help them prosecute Dennis and Fuentes who remained at large.
“The admission of Luib will have a great bearing [for the prosecution]. But it doesn’t end here,” Fadullon said.
Ann called on her brother-in-law to “come out and face the law.” She said the arrest and admission of Luib allowed them to get “partial justice” for her husband, but “they would not settle for it.”
On Aug. 7, Paradeza issued a hold departure order on Dennis and Fuentes.
He earlier ordered the arrest of the two suspects, who also faced frustrated murder charges in connection with the wounding of Dominic’s bodyguard, Efren Espartero.
On July 31, Dennis’ lawyers filed a motion to quash or suspend the implementation of the arrest warrant, claiming there was no evidence to support a finding of probable cause against him.
Dennis has denied the allegations of Luib, describing him as a “complete stranger.”
Police said Dominic’s murder stemmed from a dispute or disagreement between the brothers over UAI shares or control.
A P4-million bounty has been put up for the arrest of Dennis, and P2 million for the capture of Fuentes.
News handpicked by our editors
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.