CA stops Taguig-Makati land case word war

Rappler.com
Media interviews and public statements by officials and lawyers on the dispute over 729 hectares of prime property 'may violate the sub judice rule.' They can be held in contempt of court.

GAG ORDER. Makati Mayor Junjun Binay and Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano are barred from making public statements on the Fort Bonifacio boundary dispute. September 9, 2013 from the Makati Info Twitter account

MANILA, Philippines – Enough with the word war over Fort Bonifacio.

In a 5-page resolution, the Court of Appeals (CA) barred Taguig and Makati city governments, lawyers, and witnesses from making public statements on the two cities’ dispute over 729.15 hectares of land, including the posh Fort Bonifacio and several “embo” barangays in the city.

READ: Fort Bonifacio belongs to Makati – CA

“This Court is not oblivious to the comments, disclosures and statements before the media and the public made by the parties and other personalities after the promulgation of this Court’s July 30 2013 decision. Consequently, these discussions may violate the sub judice rule,” the CA said in a resolution penned by CA Associate Justice Marlene Gonzales Sison.

The 6th division of the CA said parties who continue to discuss the merits of the case in public could be cited for indirect contempt.

The sub judice rule bars parties from disclosures connected to ongoing judicial proceedings “to avoid prejudging the issue, influencing the court, or obstructing the administration of justice.”

READ: Makati offers Taguig income-sharing deal over Fort Bonifacio

The gag order covers not only media statements or interviews, but any statements made in public.

Taguig on September 1 filed a motion for reconsideration before the CA. The city also filed an urgent motion seeking the inhibition of Associate Justice Gonzales Sison because of her ties to Vice President Jejomar Binay, former Makati mayor and father of incumbent Mayor Junjun Binay.

READ: Taguig appeals CA ruling on Fort Bonifacio

The motion has been submitted for resolution.

Dispute

The two cities have been tossing each other words – some unkind – since the boundary dispute began. Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano earlier cautioned Mayor Binay to be cautious with his statements.

READ: Cayetano to Binay: Fort Bonifacio still Taguig’s

Binay, meanwhile, asked the Philippine National Police to formally hand over Fort Bonifacio jurisdiction to Makati. Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and Metro Manila Police Chief Supt Marcelo Garbo Jr said jurisdiction would stay with Taguig pending court decisions.

READ: Taguig police keeps jurisdiction over Fort Bonifacio

READ: Roxas to police: Stay out of Makati-Taguig row over Fort

Cayetano and Binay recently decided to “renew” the 2 cities’ “friendship and camaraderie” after tension escalated between members of the Taguig Public Order and Safety Office and Makati Anti-Drug Abuse Council. – Bea Cupin/Rappler.com

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