MANILA – Dennis Sytin, the businessman accused of masterminding the killing of his own brother, has asked an Olongapo court to cancel or suspend the order for his arrest over murder and frustrated murder charges he is facing.
Sytin was implicated in the death of his brother Dominic, founder and chief executive officer of United Auctioneers Inc. (UAI) who was shot and killed in front of a hotel in Subic on November 28, 2018.
The self-confessed gunman, Edgardo Luib, who was arrested in March this year, claimed that it was Sytin who ordered Dominic’s killing in exchange for money.
In a motion dated July 31, Sytin said there was no basis for the Olongapo City Regional Trial Court Branch 72 to order his arrest as there was no evidence to support it.
He said that the only evidence authorities have against him is the extrajudicial confession of Luib, who he claimed only “tentatively” identified his photo in tagging him as the mastermind.
Sytin also questioned the identity of the gunman, claiming Luib’s physical and facial features do not match the profile of the alleged shooter based on the police cartographic sketch, the CCTV footage and descriptions from witnesses.
He also insisted there was no basis to take him into custody because he has no derogatory record and has consistently participated in the investigation of the police, the National Bureau of Investigation, and the Department of Justice, even submitting himself to a polygraph test.
But the prosecution insisted there was sufficient basis for the court’s finding of probable cause to issue the warrant of arrest.
In his sworn statement, Luib admitted to shooting Dominic thrice from behind and his bodyguard Efren Espartero several times upon instructions of Sytin in exchange for money. He admitted receiving P50,000.
Dominic’s death, the prosecution said, was attended by treachery, evident premeditation and was done in consideration of a price, reward or money- all elements qualifying the killing as murder.
Espartero, meanwhile, survived.
The prosecution also stood by the credibility of Luib, whose testimony, they claimed, is supported by CCTV footage, his fingerprints in the helmet and empty magazines recovered from the scene, among other pieces of evidence.
“If accused is ‘truly innocent’ of the charges against him and his ‘conscience is guiltless,’ as he so boldly claims, he should not continue exposing the public authorities concerned to the expense and trouble for his search and capture, but must voluntarily surrender before this Honorable Court and face these grave charges against him,” the prosecution said in its opposition dated August 2.
The Olongapo court on Wednesday heard Sytin’s motion.
“The court granted the accused Alan Dennis Sytin five days to file his reply to the opposition filed by the prosecution. Thereafter, the motion to quash/suspend implementation of the warrants of arrest shall be submitted for resolution,” Assistant State Prosecutor Josie Christina Dugay told ABS-CBN News in a text message.
Aside from Sytin, also subject of the warrant of arrest is Oliver Fuentes, alias Ryan Rementilla, who allegedly introduced Luib to Sytin.
The same Olongapo court on July 30 issued a hold departure order against Sytin and Fuentes to prevent them from leaving the country.