Confessed hitman pleads guilty in Dominic Sytin murder

Randy Datu, Lian Buan

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Confessed hitman pleads guilty in Dominic Sytin murder
(UPDATED) State prosecutors say they are 'not considering' putting Edgardo Luib under the Witness Protection Program

OLONGAPO CITY, Philippines (UPDATED) – The confessed hitman in the killing of businessman Dominic Sytin was arraigned on murder charges on Wednesday morning, August 28.

Edgardo Luib entered a guilty plea during his arraignment before the Olongapo City Regional Trial Court Branch 72.

“His plea of guilty helps the prosecution evidence against the other accused. No idea where the other accused are,” Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera told reporters n Wednesday.

Navera said they “are not considering” putting Luib under the Witness Protection Program (WPP). 

In cases where an accomplice pleads guilty and points to others, defendants would usually rely on a rule called res inter alios acta, which in essence means, the statement of an accused cannot be taken against another co-accused.

This is the rule that worked favorably for former Palawan governor Joel Reyes, who was acquitted by the Court of Appeals in the killing of broadcaster and environmentalist Gerry Ortega, despite accomplices naming Reyes as the mastermind.

Luib earlier tagged Dennis Sytin, the younger brother of Dominic, in the murder of the businessman in November 2018. 

When he was arrested in Batangas last March, Luib claimed  that Dennis – though a middleman – hired him to kill Dominic, founder of United Auctioneers Incorporated.

The brothers were supposedly quarrelling over their shares in United Auctioneers National, Incporated, which is engaged in the importation of secondhand vehicles, said police. Luib, in his confession to police, had cited this as the motive behind the hit on Dominic.

Dennis, through alleged middleman Oliver Fuentes alias Ryan Remintilla,  supposedly promised Luib P1 million for the job but the latter only got P50,000.

Dennis and Fuentes face  murder charges and frustrated murder charges over the injuries suffered by Efren Espartero, who has with Dominic when the latter was attacked by a motorcycle-riding gunman in front of a hotel in Subic Freeport last year.

Judge Richard Paradeza of Olongapo RTC 72  had ordered the arrest of Dennis and Fuentes but both remained at large.

Dominic’s family has offered a P6-million reward  for information leading to the arrest of Dennis and Fuentes. –

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Lian Buan

Lian Buan is a senior investigative reporter, and minder of Rappler's justice, human rights and crime cluster.