Self-confessed gunman pleads guilty to Sytin murder

Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 28 2019 09:30 AM | Updated as of Aug 28 2019 01:10 PM

OLONGAPO CITY (2nd UPDATE) -- The gunman who shot dead a businessman in Subic in November 2018 has pleaded guilty to murder and frustrated murder charges before an Olongapo court, tagging the businessman's brother as the mastermind behind the killing.

Edgardo Luib on Wednesday pleaded guilty before Judge Richard Paradeza of Olongapo City Regional Trial Court Branch 72 for the death of businessman Dominic Sytin and the wounding of his bodyguard Efren Espartero.

"Inaamin ko na ho. Nakokonsensiya po ako e," he told ABS-CBN News after the arraignment.

Asked who ordered him to do the killing, Luib said: "Si ano ho, Dennis Sytin."

Luib, who was arrested in Batangas in March for a different murder case, had admitted in his sworn statement to shooting Sytin and Espartero in a hotel in Subic in exchange for P50,000, allegedly upon orders of the businessman's younger brother Dennis.

A panel of Department of Justice prosecutors indicted him for murder and frustrated murder in July with Dennis and co-accused Oliver Fuentes alias Ryan Rementilla. The two co-accused remain at large.

Luib's lawyer, Zaldy Ambon, said the judge asked Luib thrice if he understood the consequences of his plea. He said his client just wants to come clean.

According to Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Richard Anthony Fadullon, Luib's confession is a big blow against the defense.

"The confession and the plea of guilt of the accused, particularly of the gunman is going to be a very big help as far as the prosecution is concerned. And it's going to be a very big blow as far as the other accused are concerned because nobody would be more credible than somebody who was actually there, present when the crime was actually being committed," he said.

Fadullon said the trial will proceed starting Sep. 11 because Luib did not join Dennis' petition for review with the DOJ, which would have delayed the trial.

Present during the hearing was the victim's wife, Ann Sytin, and Dominic's brothers, who emerged from the courtroom wiping off tears.

An emotional Mrs. Sytin recounted to ABS-CBN News, the moment she saw the gunman in court, their first-ever meeting.

"When I saw him, I cannot help but you know remember how hurtful what he did to my family. Taking away my husband from us mercilessly," she said fighting off tears.

She added that while she's relieved that Luib pleaded guilty, she will not settle for partial justice but will seek full justice.

She also asked for help in locating her brother-in-law and his co-accused.

Her message to them: "Please come out of hiding. Face the consequences of your actions."