Quoted hereunder, for your information, is resolution of the Special First Division of this Court dated 11 March 2009G.R. No. 156643 - (Francisco Salvador B. Acejas III v. People of the Philippines)G.R. No. 156891 - (Vladimir S. Hernandez v. Sandiganbayan and People of the Philippines)
in a Decision
dated June 27, 2006, the Court affirmed the Decision dated March 8,2002 and Resolutions dated January 3 and 14, 2003 of the Sandiganbayan
convicting the accused, petitioners Francisco Salvador B. Acejas III and Vladimir S. Hernandez, of direct bribery. Acejas and Hernandez filed separate motions for reconsideration
which were denied in the Resolution
dated September 13, 2006. They filed separate motions for leave to file second motion for reconsideration
which were denied in the Resolution
dated July 11,2007.
Notwithstanding the denial of the motions and the Court's order that "no further pleadings will be entertained", petitioner Hernandez filed the present Motion to Refer the Instant Case to the Honorable Supreme Court En Banc
with Leave of Court and Motion to Consider the Affidavits of Desistance of the Complainants and the Witness.
Petitioner Hernandez contends that his case merits the same attention given by the Court en banc in Firestone Ceramics v. Court of Appeals
for referral of a decision of a Division to the Court en banc
. He further contends that the Court should have considered the Affidavit of Desistance of complainant Francisco Pelingon and the Affidavit of Takao Aoyagi, the passport owner, on the non-complicity of petitioners.
In a Letter
dated October 9, 2007, Hernandez appealed for mercy and the judiciary's guidance in the present case.
On January 4, 2008, petitioner Acejas filed a Manifestation with Motion for Leave to Allow Petitioner to Join and Adopt 'Motion to Refer the Instant Case to the Honorable Supreme Court En Bane with Leave of Court and Motion to Consider the Affidavits of Desistance of the Complainants and the Witness".
In addition to the arguments raised by petitioner Hernandez, petitioner Acejas contends that the prosecution's non-presentation of the victim, Aoyagi, as a witness is tantamount to suppression of evidence.
In a Resolution
dated June 30, 2008, the Court deferred action on the pending motions and required counsel for petitioner Hernandez to report on the veracity of the alleged death of Hernandez.
On August 12, 2008, counsel for petitioner Hernandez filed a Manifestation and Motion
informing the Court of the death of Hernandez on December 6, 2007.
With the demise of petitioner Hernandez during the pendency of his motions, the same are rendered moot and academic following the norm that the death of the accused marks the extinction of his criminal liability.
Considering, however, that petitioner Acejas has adopted the motions of petitioner Hernandez, the Court shall address the matters raised therein to put an end to this case.
There is no sufficient reason to grant the pending motions before the Court.
The motion to consider the Affidavit of Desistance of Pelingon and the Affidavit of Aoyagi must fail. While asserting new arguments, the motion to consider their affidavits is petitioner Acejas's third installment. "Piece-meal" impugnation of a judgment by successive motions for reconsideration is anathema, being precluded by the salutary axiom that a party seeking the setting aside of a judgment, act or proceeding must set out in his motion all the grounds therefor, and those not so included are deemed waived and cease to be available for subsequent motions.
Besides, Pelingon repudiated his Affidavit of Desistance during his testimony in court. As to the Affidavit of Aoyagi, no evidentiary value can be accorded it since Aoyagi did not testify in court. The prosecution also cannot be accused of suppression of evidence considering that Aoyagi was available to the defense. If the defense really wanted to hear the testimony of Aoyagi, then it could have subpoenaed him and presented him as an unwilling or a hostile witness.
As to the motion for referral of the case to the Court en banc
, the present case is not one that should be heard by the Court en banc.
The issues raised do not fall under any of the categories which maybe considered as "en banc
Neither are they of transcendental importance as to merit referral to the Court en banc
. They do not present novel questions of law nor call for reversal or modification of age old doctrines. The resolution of the issues involve nothing more than the application of basic legal precepts and established doctrines.
The proceedings of the First Division on the Decision dated June 27,2006 are regular and require no intervention of the Court en banc
. A decision or resolution of a Division of the Court, when concurred in by a majority of its Members who actually took part in the deliberations on the issues in a case and voted thereon, represent the decisions of the Supreme Court itself. The full Court is not an appellate court to which decisions or resolutions of a Division may be appealed. To accept the referral of this case to the Court en banc
would be to entertain an appeal from a decision of the First Division. This, the Court cannot allow. Thus, it is now high time that this case be put to rest.WHEREFORE
, the ""Motion to Refer the Instant Case to the Honorable Supreme Court En Banc with Leave of Court and Motion to Consider the Affidavits of Desistance of the Complainants and the Witness" and the Letter dated October 9, 2007 by petitioner Hernandez are DISMISSED
for being MOOT
. The Manifestation with Motion for Leave to Allow Petitioner to Join and Adopt "Motion to Refer the Instant Case to the Honorable Supreme Court En Banc
with Leave of Court and Motion to Consider the Affidavits of Desistance of the Complainants and the Witness" by petitioner Acejas is DENIED.WITNESS
the Hon. Associate Justice Ma. Alicia Austria-Martinez, in lieu of retired Hon. Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban,* Hon. Associate Justice Consuelo Ynares-Santiago; Hon. Associate Justice Renato C. Corona, in lieu of retired Hon. Associate Romeo J. Callejo, Sr.,** Hon. Associate Justice Conchita Carpio Morales, in lieu of Hon. Associate Justice Minita V. Chico-Nazario,*** Hon. Associate Justice Leonardo A. Quisumbing, additional member.****
Very truly yours,
(Sgd.) ENRIQUETA ESGUERRA-VIDAL
Clerk of Court
 Penned by Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban (now retired) and concurred in by Associate Justices Consuelo Ynares-Santiago, Ma. Alicia Austria-Martinez and Romeo J. Callejo, Sr. (now retired) with Associate Justice Minita V. Chico-Nazario taking no part as she was the ponente of the assailed Decision and Resolutions of the Sandiganbayan, Rollo of G.R. No. 156643, p. 552.
 Rollo of G.R. No. 156643, p. 590; Rollo of G.R. No. 156891, p. 419.
 Rollo of G.R. No. 156643, p. 623; Rollo of G.R. No. 156891, p. 450.
 Rollo of G.R. No. 156643, p. 662; Rollo of G.R. No. 156891, p. 464.
 Rollo of G.R. No. 156643, p. 708; Rollo of G.R. No. 156891, p. 516.
 Rollo of G.R. No. 156891, p. 518. .
 389 Phil. 810, 818(2000).
 Rollo of G.R. No. 156643, p. 780.
 Rollo of G.R. No. 156643, p. 802; Rollo of G.R. No. 156891, p. 578.
 Rollo Of G.R. No. 156643, p. 807; Rollo of G.R. No. 156891, p. 583.
 Rollo of G.R. No. 156643, p. 809; Rollo of G.R. No. 156891, p. 585.
 Article 89 (1), Revised Penal Code.
 Ortigas and Company Limited Partnership v. Velasco, G.R. No. 109645, March 4, 1996, 254 SCRA 234, 240.
 In Firestone Ceramics, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, 389 Phil. 810, 816-817 (2000), citing Supreme Court Circular No. 2-89, dated February 7, 1989, as amended by the Resolution of November 18, 1993, holding, viz.:
"x x x the following are considered en banc cases:
1. Cases in which the constitutionality or validity of any treaty, international or executive agreement, law, executive order, or presidential decree, proclamation, order, instruction, ordinance, or regulation is in question;
2. Criminal cases in which the appealed decision imposes the death penalty;
3. Cases raising novel questions of law;
4. Cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls;
5. Cases involving decisions, resolutions or orders of the Civil Service Commission, Commission on Elections, and Commission on Audit;
6. Cases where the penalty to be imposed is the dismissal of a judge, officer or employee of the judiciary, disbarment of a lawyer, or either the suspension of any of them for a period of more than one (1) year or a fine exceeding P10,000.00 or both;
7. Cases where a doctrine or principle laid down by the court en banc or hi division may be modified or reversed;
8. Cases assigned to a division which in the opinion of at least three (3) members thereof merit the attention of the court en bane and are acceptable to a majority of the actual membership of the court en banc; and
9. All other cases as the court en bane by a majority of its actual membership may deem of sufficient importance to merit its attention.
 Ortigas and Company Limited Partnership v. Velasco, supra note 13, at 243.
* Per Raffle dated May 28, 2007
** Per Raffle dated May 28, 2007
*** Per Raffle dated MAy 28, 2007
**** Per Raffle dated June 23, 2008