MANILA - The family of slain auction firm leader Dominic Sytin will offer a P1 million reward for the arrest of his killer, police said Friday.
Chief Supt. Joel Coronel, chief of Police Regional Office 3 (Central Luzon), confirmed through interviews with family members and business associates that Sytin received threats over the past weeks before his slay at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone Wednesday night.
"We were able to interview family members and also his employees and business associates in United Auctioneers and one of them revealed Mr. Sytin received a threat from another involved or engaged in the same industry," Coronel told reporters.
Coronel added that a verbal threat was directly made to Sytin, who was chief executive officer of United Auctioneers Inc (UAI).
"In essence, ang threat is parang 'hindi habang buhay ay nasa puder' o 'hindi habang buhay mayroong pera' at 'may katapat ka rin, isang bala ka lang'," he said.
(In essence, the threat is that 'you will not be in power forever' or 'you will not have money forever' and 'you will find your match, it just takes one bullet.')
Authorities are now looking into business rivalry as the possible motive behind the killing.
Coronel said they are also looking into other information such as court cases filed against Sytin or those he filed against certain respondents.
Central Luzon police also released a composite sketch of the gunman. The sketch, however, showed that the suspect was wearing a handkerchief, as described to police by Sytin's bodyguard, Efren Fartiro.
Coronel noted that the shooting was premeditated and well executed.
"The gunman is proficient in the use of firearms. The caliber used was a .45 single stack, most likely walo lang bala nakaload (only eight bullets loaded). He shot Mr. Sytin four times, all hitting their mark, and another three rounds were fired at the driver also hitting their mark," he said.
A black motorcycle believed to be the getaway vehicle of the suspect was also recovered near a Korean Church along Kalaklan gate. Police also got hold of one magazine of the suspect which will be subject for fingerprinting and DNA examination.
A CCTV footage obtained from the Lighthouse Hotel showed that around 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sytin suddenly fell along the hotel's driveway after being shot at the back.
The gunman then headed closer to Sytin and fired two more shots to his head, killing him on the spot.
Sytin's bodyguard Efren Fartiro, who came behind a plantbox trying to retaliate, sustained wounds after he was also shot by the gunman. He is now in stable condition.
"In the CCTV, it's a lone gunman. But most definitely, there are more persons involved in this shooting," Coronel said.
Sytin's close friend SBMA Chairperson Wilma Esma described the slain 51-year-old up and coming tycoon as someone who was soft-spoken and had a kind heart.
"Dominic is a very good man, a compassionate man, you will see it with the way he treats his people. Not just Subic, but the Philippines lost a good man," she said.
Esma believes the crime happened in Subic due to public announcements of scheduled auctions where Sytin's movements may be easily predicted.
The SBMA chief, however, maintained that Subic remains safe and secure for everyone and that the shooting incident is just an isolated case.
"It is not fair to say that this is a breakdown of law and peace and order here in Subic. We continue to be very strict and we will be stricter now," she said.
Authorities are still in search of other evidence possibly left in the crime scene and CCTV footage that may help identify the gunman.