MANILA -- Authorities nabbed the suspect in the killing of a businessman inside the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) in Olongapo City in November last year.
In a press conference at Camp Crame on Monday, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Gen. Oscar Albayalde identified the suspect as Edgardo Paredes Luib, who was arrested at the house of his live-in partner in Palmridge Subdivision, Filinvest, Sta Maria, Santo Tomas, Batangas last March 5.
Luib allegedly gunned down Dominic Sytin, founder and executive officer of United Auctioneers, Inc., an importer of used heavy equipment and other vehicles based in Subic Freeport, outside the Lighthouse Hotel inside the SBMA on November 28, 2018. His security escort, Efren Espartero, was wounded in the attack.
“This latest development provides impetus to the continuing effort of the PNP for the solution of high-profile cases, and at the same time hitting hard on organized crime groups and partisan armed groups engaged in gun-for-hire activities,” he added.
He said from all indications, this high-profile murder of Sytin was apparently motivated by rivalry among corporate siblings and carried out thru a gun-for-hire contract with a hitman.
Based on the police background check, Luib is a contract killer.
During the manhunt against Luib, police officers seized a Carbine, a .40-caliber pistol and .45-caliber pistol which they said had matched the two slugs and nine fired cartridges recovered from the crime scene.
"Luib’s fingerprint standard also matched the latent prints lifted from the side mirror of the getaway Yamaha Mio motorcycle used in the shooting. With this 'smoking gun' evidence, we now have an airtight case that we will file in court against gunman Luib, and all those who conspired for the hit job on Dominic Lim Sytin," Albayalde noted.
Luib, who has a standing arrest warrant for two counts of murder, was identified through the help of a tipster who provided the police information on February 4.
“I would like to point out that investigative research and case build-up of this murder case was initiated by Special Investigation Task Group “Lighthouse” composed of operating units from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) under Police Maj. Gen. Amador Corpus and PRO-3 under Police Brig. Gen. Joel Napoleon Coronel,” Albayalde said.
In his extra-judicial confession, Luib identified Sytin’s younger brother, Dennis, erstwhile Chief Operations Officer of UAI and Ryan Rementilla, a former UAI employee as the masterminds of the crime.
Luib said Rementilla, his childhood friend was the one who contacted him to execute the plan.
He said he was initially offered PHP1 million for the hit job but he only got PHP50,000 while Rementilla allegedly took the rest.
Luib said he first met with Dennis Sytin and Rementilla in September 2018, in a beach resort in Subic, Zambales where they planned the killing.
Corpus said based on initial background investigation, the Sytin brothers have an ongoing dispute over the control of shares and operation on the UAI.
“What is clear is sometime last year, Dennis was fired from the company because he established his own firm and he is diverting the other equipment there (from UAI). Dennis and Dominic had a heated quarrel and actually, he (Dennis) is barred from entering United Auctioneers," Corpus said in Filipino.
Corpus said Rementilla became an employee of UAI in 2001 and immediately became close with Dominic.
But Dominic knew him as Oliver Fuentes because according to Corpus, the latter could not reveal his real identity as he has a pending arrest warrant for murder.
In August 2018, Dominic found out the real identity of Fuentes whom he immediately fired upon knowing that the latter was duping him of close to PHP1 million from payment collections.
Rementilla then moved to the company of Dennis, where he and the latter allegedly planned the murder of Dominic.
Charges of murder and frustrated murder will be filed against Dennis, Rementilla, Luib and another John Doe who allegedly is an insider at the UAI who provided information to the gunman on the victim’s activities before leaving the company premises the day he was killed. (PNA)