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[G.R. No. 122934.

January 5, 2001]
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. ANGEL PRECIADOS (At Large),
ARTURO ENAD, EMIGDIO VILLAMOR, LEONCIO ALGABRE and
FLORIANO ALGABRE @ LOLOY, accused.
ARTURO ENAD, accused-appellant.

CRIMINAL CASE 7887 MURDER- The charge sheet reads:

That on or about the 12th to the 13th day of May 1992, in the municipality of Sagbayan,
province of Bohol, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of RTC Tagbilaran City Branch 1,
the abovenamed accused, conspiring, confederating and mutually helping with one
another, with intent to kill and without justifiable cause, did then and there, willfully,
unlawfully, and feloniously pour poison into the mouth of one Primo Hilbero whereby
causing the victims untimely death.

CRIMINAL CASE 7888- FRUSTRATED MURDER- The charge sheet reads:

That on or about the 12th to the 13th day of May, 1992, in the municipality of Sagbayan,
province of Bohol, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of the Honorable Court, the
abovenamed accused, conspiring, confederating and mutually helping with one another,
with intent to kill and without justifiable cause, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and
feloniously pour poison into the mouth of one Antonio Hilbero thereby inflicting serious
injuries on the victims body; thus, the accused having performed in said manner all the
acts of execution which would have produced the crime of Murder as a consequence, but
which nevertheless did not produce it by reason of a cause independent of their will, that is,
by the timely medical attendance and treatment rendered the damage and prejudice of the
said offended party in the amount to be proved during the trial.

PROSECUTION (Testimonies/Narration of witnesses/evidences-HELEN,NBI&PHYSICIAN)

At around 11:00 p.m. of May 12, 1992, Antonio with his common law wife and their two
children, his brother, Primo and his wife, Helen with their three children, Antonios mother,
Dominga, and another brother, Severino were at the second floor of the old rice mill at Ubujan.
Except for Helen, the clan had retired for the night. She was about to go to sleep when she
noticed Antonio go downstairs. Minutes later, her husband Primo, followed him. Then she heard
someone utter, Dont move. Alarmed, she rose from her mat and peeped through a two inch hole
in the floor.The ground floor was illuminated by moonlight.

She saw appellant holding a hand grenade while Antonio knelt on the floor.
Nearby stood Angel Preciados with a gun pointed at Antonio.
She then heard Emigdio Villamor say Dont move so that your family will not die.
She saw the latter forcing Primo to swallow an object.
The other accused held her husband to prevent him from struggling. Shocked, Helen then
soundlessly cried and embraced her children.
Shortly afterwards, Helens mother-in-law, Dominga, was awakened by the barking of the family
dog.
Dominga went downstairs where she saw Primo lifeless on the floor, reeking of poison while,
Antonio was nowhere to be found. They searched the immediate surroundings but to no avail.

Early in the morning, Antonio was found by his uncle. He was weak and appeared on the verge
of death and brought to the hospital for emergency treatment. Noticing that he smelled of some
poisonous chemical, he was also made to drink coconut milk.

PROS1
CRIMINAL CASE 7887 MURDER
The acts committed is clear in contrary to the provisions of Article 248 of the Revised Penal
Code, as amended, with the aggravating circumstances of (1) treachery, the victim being
unaware and unsuspecting and (2) abuse of superior strength, two of the accused being
armed with deadly weapons which they used in intimidating, threatening and forcing the
victim to drink the poison.

CRIMINAL CASE 7888- FRUSTRATED MURDER


In the same manner, the acts committed is also clear that it is contrary to the provisions of
Article 248 in relation to Articles 6 and 50 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, with the
aggravating circumstances of (1) treachery, the victim being unaware and unsuspecting
and (2) abuse of superior of strength, two of the accused being armed with deadly
weapon which they to used in intimidating, threatening and forcing the victim to drink the
poison.

PROS2 (Attending Physician Testimony)


According to the Prosecution witness, Dr. Mayda Reyes, Antonio told her that he was forced
to drink a certain liquid which smelled like insecticide.

And since Antonio appeared to be dying when he was found due to poisoning, he took an
Ante- mortem statement in which he named all the accused as the persons responsible for
poisoning him and dropping him in the well./ This was witnessed by PO3 Leonardo Enoc,
the police investigator who took the said dying declaration statement of the victim.

Further, according to the NBI result of investigation, the toxicological examination of


Primos body revealed the presence of methamidophos, the active ingredient of the
insecticide Tamaron in the victims body.

First issue:
The first issue deals with the credibility of prosecution witness Helen Hilbero. Appellant argues
that the testimony of the sole prosecution eyewitness, Helen Hilbero, is doubtful. He points out
that it was odd that despite witnessing her husband murdered and her brother in law poisoned,
Helen did not make a statement to the police on what she witnessed

Issue A
That while the police took the sworn statement of Dominga, the mother of Primo and Antonio,
they did not take the statement of the widow, who allegedly saw everything
And that even after meeting appellant face to face on the morning, no confrontation occurred
between appellant and Helen.

Prosecutions Defense:
There is nothing unnatural in Helens failure to immediately disclose what she knew. The failure
to reveal the identities of the perpetrators should not impair her credibility since there is no set of
standards of human behavior when one is confronted with a strange, striking, or frightful
experience. Moreover, she had her reasons to keep what she knew to herself. The accused were
her neighbors and they could easily cause her and her family harm as what she heard said by the
perpetrators stating, Dont move so that your family will not die./ this kind of actuation and
decision are possible in order to preserve her life and her family.

Issue B
Questioning the inconsistencies and improbabilities of the testimonies of the witness (Helen)
during cross examination as compared to the answer on the direct examination which has
different versions and uncertainty identifying the accused.

Prosecutions Defense:
A mere inconsistencies on the testimonies of the witness as well as to prove the identities of the
perpetrators should not impair her credibility, as what said that there is no set of standards of
human behavior when one is confronted with a strange, striking, or frightful experience.

Issue C
The defense claimed that Helens testimony contained contradictory statements.
The mill was lit by moonlight while in other instance the witness said the mill was dark and unlit.
Also said that moonlight was very bright, but later said the moon was not very full.

Prosecutions Defense:
The witness stated that the moon was very bright/ bright moonlight..
When you said the moon is very bright/bright moonlight,does it automatically indicate that the
moon is on its full moon??of course, definitely, No..

And as what the defense shown that during that night, five nights before its fullness, the moon
was in its first quarter- and it was not as bright as a full moon, and therefore the moon was
already bright but not as bright as full moon.(the statement of the witness could be considered
has its factual correctness)
Further explain that the witness is probably not aware on the cycles of the moon whether it is on
its full moon or not.

Or even, lets say that this was true that the moon was on its full moon ( moon bright, as what
describe by the witness), yet it is possible that not all times during full moon the night is bright,
for sometimes clouds formation covered the moon that creates the night dark and unlit.

Therefore, the defense statement is not totally credible to believe and create a doubt on the
testimony of the witness on whether that the place where the crime was committed was lit by
moonlight or dark and unlit.

Issue D
The defense also assailed the veracity and credibility concerning the destruction of the bamboo
slats which was the only way the intruders could entered

The mill had two windows covered with bamboo slats. To enter the mill through the windows,
the bamboo slats must be destroyed.
Yet, Helen did not hear the sound of the bamboo slats being destroyed.

Prosecutions Defense:
Since the crime was obviously planned very well and premeditated, the intruders made
successfully entered the mill surreptitiously in order not to be detected, that is why Helen did not
hear the sound during the destruction of the bamboo slats.

Issue D
The defense questioned the following:
The witness said that while the victim (Primo) struggled not to imbibe the poison, he did not
utter a sound which according to the witness the victim could not utter a sound as his neck was
clipped or headlocked and there was no proof that the victims mouth was muffled to prevent
him from shouting for help.
In other words, Helens account, that her husband violently struggled against his murderers yet
soundlessly made to drink the poison is unnatural and doubtful.

Prosecutions Defense:
Based on the testimony of the witness what happened that night, explicitly stated by one of the
perpetrators, quoting.. Dont move so that your family will not die

This is the reason why Primo did not utter a sound of shouting for help, due to fear that his
family can also be killed.

Every person has its own ways of thinking and personal reasons on how to accept a deadly
situation which called sacrifice even up to meet his untimely death, just to save his family and
loved ones. And not uttering a sound in between life and death circumstances, as in the case of
Primo, is his own best choice to preserve the life of his family and not for the sake of anyone.
Second Issue;
The defense argued that the Ante-mortem statement made by Antonio, used by the prosecution
as an evidenced is inadmissible in the court due to the following:
The declarant of the Ante- mortem statement has survived/ it is required that the declaration of
ante-mortem statement must be done if death is imminent.
The spontaneity in the taking of the Ante-mortem statement of the victim

Prosecutions Defense:
The prosecution believes that the ante-mortem statement of Antonio made was clear that death is
imminent for him. Taking account of what was happened to Primo who met untimely death when
forced to drink by perpetrators of a poisonous substance.

Whereas, Antonio somehow felt at the very moment that when he was forced made to drink the
same poisonous substance, which he might feared that this will also happened to him to
eventually meet also his untimely death.

And to argue the spontaneity in the taking of the ante-mortem statement, intoxication of a
poisonous substance which possibly brings prolonged danger of death in the body of the victim
is not the same as the victim being stabbed or shot by a gun.

In other words, the spontaneity in taking the dying declaration in cases of intoxication of
poisonous substance shall be considered in exception as required by law which must be
subsequent immediately to the startling occurrence of the crime. This is because poisonous
substance is could still be considered threat and deadly to the body of the victim even for an
hours.

So when Antonio made his ante-mortem statement after several hours, during this time, he still
felt imminent of death and at the valid means of spontaneity due to intoxication of the poisonous
substance in his body.