Who killed businessman Dominic Sytin?
EYES WIDE OPEN - Iris Gonzales (The Philippine Star) - December 4, 2018 - 12:00am

He may not be the legendary John Wick, but the lone gunman looked every bit like a professional killer. He held the .45 single stack pistol with one hand and fired — clean, steady and firm with no recoil. 

The first bullet hit Dominic Sytin at the back, a perfect metaphor for the mastermind’s cold blooded treacherous act. Sytin, who was about to enter the Lighthouse Hotel in Subic, fell in an instant. His body slumped on the cold pavement that fateful Wednesday evening.

But the gunman was not contented. He wanted to make sure his mission was accomplished. 

He immediately walked toward his fallen prey and fired a decisive kill shot on the left side of the head, sealing Sytin’s fate. In seconds, the young businessman lay lifeless in his own pool of blood. 

The killer, with a red kerchief covering his face, then ran toward a waiting motorcycle. Sytin’s bodyguard tried to chase him, but the gunman was able to fire back even while on the run. He successfully injured the security aide. Only a competitive shooter or one who does a lot of training can do that. 

This is not your ordinary gun for hire. It’s clear that whoever hired him was hellbent on seeing Sytin dead. 

I hope the authorities get to the bottom of this gruesome murder. 

Sytin did not deserve to die and especially not this way. He was a passionate businessman and he was a kind person, always willing to share his time with journalists. Our currency was news and he knew that. He generously shared to us invaluable information — who was buying what or who was dating who. Whether it’s news or gossip, Sytin had something to say. He might as well be called the perfect source. And funny, too. 

But what is really tragic is that Sytin was already on his way to the top. He was actually almost there; he would have soon reaped the fruits of his labor. 

While he is known mainly for his United Auctioneers, he also has other businesses such as United Holdings Power Corp. which is into renewable energy.

 The company already has hydropower projects including a 15-megawatt hydropower project plant in Bukidnon, a project seen to help ease the power shortage in Mindanao. 

Just last year, Sytin acquired a controlling stake in listed LMG Chemicals from the Garcias, effectively paving the way for his backdoor listing.

It was not clear if it was meant for his United Auctioneers, the premier industrial auction company in the Philippines.

 United Auctioneers started in March 1999 with only  a handful of industrial, construction trucks and machines for its first auction.

 In 2003, it held its first sale inside the Subic Bay Freeport zone in Olongapo.

Since then, United Auctioneers has sold over 50,000 units of various industrial transport and construction machines to over 10,000 foreign and local buyers.

 It seemed logical that LMG Chemicals would be the vehicle for United Auctioneers because the company already had its sights on establishing successful auction operations within the Asia Pacific region.

  But this may no longer happen with Sytin gone. His death is a big loss not only to the small businessmen —who were able to buy trucks and vehicles at affordable prices from his auction house — but also to the whole business community. He would have been the country’s next tycoon. 

I fervently hope the authorities will not let the killer and his mastermind get away with murder.

In the iconic passenger train the Orient Express, an American tycoon was found dead in one of its compartments hours after a snowdrift stopped the train on its tracks. The tycoon was stabbed a dozen times. Every passenger on the train was a suspect — the tycoon’s secretary, the family cook, the chauffeur, the butler who is an undercover like the secretary and a suspicious nurse and her brother. In the end, the murderer was someone who didn’t look like a killer at all. But guess what? That someone had the biggest motive.

Perhaps authorities can learn a lesson or two from Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express — to find the one with the biggest axe to grind. For sure, that person’s hands are tainted with Sytin’s blood. 

Let justice be done though the heavens fall. 

The business of human trafficking

Speaking of motive, authorities should know that the charges against The STAR columnist Satur Ocampo are hilarious, if not absurd. Ocampo would never be involved in human trafficking or child abuse, that I am sure.

The police should stop the red tagging and go after the real perpetrators of human trafficking. 

Human trafficking is a serious crime and it is happening all over the Philippines. It is funded by syndicates and sellers of fake and pirated goods. There is a close link between human trafficking and the fake goods industry, according to the International Criminal Police Organization or Interpol.

Indeed, it’s a big business and it’s a serious crime.

The police should go after the real perpetrators — those with the real motives. 

To put it simply, the police should do their jobs. After all this isn’t a scene from Probinsyano. This is the real life and real lives are at stake. 

Iris Gonzales’ e-mail address is eyesgonzales@gmail.com 

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