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MANILA, Philippines – Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano asked the Supreme Court to investigate “false and troubling” claims supposedly made by Makati Mayor Abby Binay, as well as social media posts, which raise the possibility of the reopening of the territorial dispute case, which was already resolved by the High Court.
On Tuesday, June 13, Cayetano filed an urgent manifestation and motion asking the High Court to order Makati and Binay to show cause why they should not be sanctioned.
Cayetano said that a few weeks ago, there were social media posts alleging that Binay spoke with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., First Lady Liza Araneta Marcos, and Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo, who all supposedly promised to help reopen the case.
The circulation of these social media posts was followed by Binay’s statement in an interview where she said that they received a document setting the case for oral argument.
“As far as the city is concerned, there is still a pending motion. We still don’t know since the Supreme Court is on a break so hopefully this month we will get some idea,” Binay said.
The Makati mayor, however, admitted in the same interview that there was no action yet on their omnibus motion.
“As far as the document that we received, we’re actually setting it for a hearing which means it’s not yet final. Even in the omnibus motion, there’s still no action,” Binay said.
“While such social media post could have been dismissed as nothing more than ‘fake news,’ an interview with Mayor Abigail Binay subsequently surfaced which echoed the same message that the fight is allegedly not yet over,” Taguig said in its motion.
Cayetano said the city has not received any advisory that there would be another hearing. On June 8, Thursday, Supreme Court spokesperson Brian Keith Hosaka also said that he was not aware of the supposed reopening of the case.
In its April 2022 decision, the Supreme Court’s Third Division ruled with finality that the disputed areas – Bonifacio Global City and nearby “embo” barangays were under the jurisdiction of Taguig.
In a two-page resolution dated September 28, 2022, High Court’s Special Third Division also denied Makati City’s omnibus motion for reconsideration on the grounds that the basic issues were already considered and passed upon by the Supreme Court. It also denied Makati City’s omnibus motion, which sought to refer the instant case to the en banc.
“Court En Banc is not an Appellate Court to which decisions or resolutions of a Division may be appealed,” the Supreme Court said in April this year. It said no further pleadings, motions, letters, or other communications will be entertained in relation to the case.
The Taguig mayor said that Binay, as a lawyer and officer of the court, has an obligation not to issue any false or misleading statement about the case.
“The pronouncements of Mayor Binay and the Makati officials are alarming, so what we want is for them to be investigated and compelled to show cause why they should not be punished by our court for their irresponsible statements,” Cayetano said.
This is not the first time Makati had violated the rules of court, according to the Taguig mayor.
In 2016, the Supreme Court found Makati City guilty of forum shopping after it simultaneously pursued legal remedies before two different courts in connection with its land dispute with Taguig City.
The Taguig mayor said that the case has been resolved, and they should move forward on the transition without compromising the service and welfare of residents.
Cayetano said that since the promulgation of the Supreme Court’s ruling, they have yet to discuss with Makati the transition of the disputed territory. She, however, said they are open to dialogue with Makati.
When asked for a statement on the petition filed by Taguig, Makati City administrator and lawyer Claro Certeza said they have yet to see the motion.
However, Certeza said, “No right thinking lawyer would petition the High Court on the basis of these posts.”
“This is perhaps the first time that a petition has been brought before the Supreme Court on the basis of social media posts with dubious authorship, accuracy and credibility,” he said.
Certeza said they will make respond should the Supreme Court ask them to comment. – with reports from Jairo Bolledo, Rappler.com