Sibling rivalry: Brother tagged as ‘mastermind’ in Sytin slay

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Slain businessman Dominic Sytin's own brother is believed to be the mastermind in his killing, the Philippine National Police (PNP) announced on Monday, March 11.

In a press briefing in Camp Crame, PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said there was a "direct link" between the alleged gunman who was arrested, Edgardo Luib, and businessman Dominic's younger brother, Dennis Sytin.

"This high-profile murder of Dominic Lim Sytin was apparently motivated by rivalry among corporate siblings, and carried out through a gun-for-hire contract with a hitman," Albayalde said.

Sytin was slain in the evening of November 28, 2018 in Subic, Zambales. He is known as the founder and president of United Auctioneers National, a company engaged in the importation of secondhand vehicles.

The motive? It was because of a "corporate dispute," according to Central Luzon police director Chief Superintendent Joel Coronel.

Based on the PNP's investigation, United Auctioneers only has 5 shareholders with 20% of shares each: Dominic, Dennis, their two other brothers, and their mother.

"Before the killing of Mr Sytin, there has been an apparent disagreement between brothers Dominic, the victim, and the principal suspect now, Dennis...Apparently they were quarreling over shares of United Auctioneers National," Coronel said.

According to Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) chief Director Amador Corpus, Dennis Sytin was apparently fired from the company "around November 15" after he allegedly formed his own company then "diverted" money from United Auctioneers.

His involvement? Dennis Sytin allegedly promised the suspected gunman Luib P1 million for his brother's death, said Corpus. He was allegedly in contact with Luib up to the day of the killing itself.

"Pero 50,000 lang nareceive niya (But he received P50,000 only)," said Corpus, citing the confession of  Luib.

Dennis Sytin apparently reached Luib through suspected middleman Ryan Remintilla, who the PNP said has been wanted for a murder case for years.

Remintilla, Corpus said, had worked in United Auctioneers using the name "Oliver Fuentes" and was fired by Dominic Syting in August 2018 also after he was found to have redirected the company's income for his gain. At the same time, Dominic was already having a fallout with his brother Dennis.

By September, Corpus said, Dennis Sytin and Ryan Remintilla started looking for a gunman. 

With these findings, Dennis is now being pursued by the PNP, Corpus said. – Rappler.com

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.

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