MANILA – A Pampanga court has issued a precautionary hold departure order (HDO) against businessman Dennis Sytin and two other suspects tagged in his brother Dominic's slay.
Angeles City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Executive Judge Omar Viola issued the precautionary HDO dated May 20, 2019 against Sytin and fellow suspects Oliver Fuentes alias Ryan Rementilla and Edgardo Luib while a panel of Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutors continued to investigate murder and frustrated murder complaints against them.
“…[T]here is a probable cause to believe that Dennis L. Sytin, Oliver D. Fuentes a.k.a. Ryan Remintilla and Edgardo P. Luib will depart from the Philippines to evade arrest and prosecution of [the] crime against them," the order said.
It said it "orders the Commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation to hold the departure from the Philippines of the above-named respondents and to include their names in the Hold Departure List of the said office,” the order said.
Sytin is accused of masterminding the killing of his brother, based on the account of Luib, the self-confessed gunman. Luib was arrested in Batangas in March this year.
Fuentes is, meanwhile, accused of allegedly introducing Dennis to the gunman.
Luib told police he shot dead Dominic Sytin at close range on Nov. 28, 2018 and also wounded his bodyguard Efren Espartero.
Dominic Sytin was the founder and chief executive officer of United Auctioneers Inc. (UAI), one of the country’s biggest auctioneers of industrial, transport and construction machines.
Dennis Sytin has denied the allegations.
The court issued the precautionary HDO upon the request of DOJ prosecutors led by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera.
In their urgent ex-parte motion filed on May 20, prosecutors cited an ex-parte motion filed by Anna Marietta Sytin, Dominic’s widow, sometime in April 2019 where she claimed there is “high possibility” that the suspects may escape and that there is “imminent danger in the lives of the victim’s families.”
“There is an extreme urgency in granting of the application of PHDO as there is a high probability that respondents Sytin and Fuentes will flee and seek refuge (in) another country to evade prosecution,” the prosecutors’ motion said, noting that both are charged with murder, a non-bailable offense, and that the evidence submitted are “sufficient to establish” probable cause for charges of murder and frustrated murder.
“Moreover, respondent Sytin, a businessman, has the means to travel and has access to devices as means of escape and evasion. On the other hand, respondent Fuentes has not been attending the scheduled preliminary investigation hearings, despite numerous notices for him to do so,” it added.
The DOJ prosecutors terminated their preliminary investigation on the Sytin case on Tuesday.
Navera said it is now submitted for resolution.