Taguig appeals CA ruling on Fort Bonifacio

MANILA, Philippines – Taguig is not giving up on its claim over Fort Bonifacio.

The city on Thursday, August 29, filed a Motion for Reconsideration (MR) before the Court of Appeals (CA) 6th Division to appeal the court's decision that the property belongs to Makati City.

According to the MR, Taguig has a stronger case for the area's ownership.

"Taguig’s claim has the backing of history – it precedes Makati as a political and corporate entity by decades.Taguig’s claim has the weight of official authority behind it – in statutes, in proclamations, in public documents – while Makati can only rely on private writings and proclamations that expand the original terms of that which it sought to amend,” the motion stated.

Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano said their claim is backed by official documents and surveys.

“Taguig’s claim has been established by the numerous documentary and official documents, while Makati’s has been one characterized by numerous legal maneuvers and overreliance on technicalities,” it added.

Cayetano said the city will exhaust all legal remedies to "assert [their] ownership of Fort Bonifacio," which the court last month said belonged to neighboring Makati.

They also contend that their claim has been "affirmed and reaffirmed" in the lower courts for nearly 2 decades, but was suddenly overturned by the CA in only 1 1/2 years.

She also said CA Associate Justice Marlene Gonzales-Sison should inhibit from the case, due to her husband's ties to Vice President Jejomar Binay - a former mayor of Makati.

The case, Taguig said, goes beyond the issue of who owns the disputed property, but also a "judgment on the importance of official historical documents… and the weight we accord to them at present."

Dispute

The 6th division of the appeals court on Monday, August 5, favored Makati’s appeal to declare some parts of Fort Andres Bonifacio, formerly called Fort William Mckinley and the so-called “embo” barangays (barangays whose names end with “embo”) to be within the city’s territory and not Taguig’s.

The 37-page decision – penned by Justice Marlene Gonzales-Sison and concurred in by Justices Hakim Abdulwahid and Edwin Sorongon – reversed the ruling of the Pasig City Regional Trial Court Branch 153 that had sided with Taguig.

If upheld by the Supreme Court, the decision by the CA's 6th division will revert 729.15 hectares to Makati.

The court lifted the preliminary injunction issued by the Pasig lower court against Makati on July 15, 1994, which had been modified by a resolution issued by the CA on Sept 11, 1995.

The case stemmed from the orders of President Corazon Aquino in 1992 and of President Fidel Ramos in 1993 to develop portions of military camps, including Fort Bonifacio, and placing them under the Bases Conversion Development Authority.

Aside from Makati and Taguig, Pateros is also claiming the property. - Rappler.com