Taguig is rightful owner of BGC, CA rules
The Court of Appeals on Wednesday released its latest ruling on the Bonifacio Global City dispute, essentially upholding Taguig’s rightful ownership of the hotly contested estate.
In a 17-page resolution penned by Associate Justice Edwin Sorongon on March 8, the CA (Special Former Sixth Division) granted Taguig City’s Motion to Dismiss based on Makati’s violation of the forum shopping rule (or pursuing simultaneous remedies in two different courts) and accordingly dismissed the latter’s appeal of the earlier decision of the Regional Trial Court of Pasig which originally ruled in favor of Taguig.
In granting the motion to dismiss filed by Taguig on Aug. 23, 2016, the CA took notice of the Supreme Court’s decision on June 15, 2016 which found Makati guilty of “willful and deliberate forum shopping.” With this Supreme Court ruling “and, in the absence of any justification on the part of Makati,” the appellate court said it “cannot but draw the conclusion that Makati’s simultaneous availment of the aforementioned reliefs is not a by-product of mere thoughtlessness or negligence but willful and deliberate act of forum shopping” which “has sowed conflicts between the courts”. Inasmuch as Makati has been twice found by the Supreme Court to have committed violations of the forum shopping rule on this specific dispute, the CA ruled that it has to give effect to the “legal consequence of dismissal” of Makati’s petition.
The case between Taguig and Makati over BGC started in 1993 when Taguig filed a case against Makati before the Pasig Regional Trial Court contending “that the areas comprising the Enlisted Men’s Barangays, or EMBOs, as well as the area referred to as Inner Fort in Fort Bonifacio, were within its territory and jurisdiction.” The RTC ruled in favor of Taguig in July 2011.
In response, Makati filed a motion for reconsideration with the RTC and at the same time also filed petition for annulment of judgment with the CA. Makati’s motion for reconsideration was eventually denied by the RTC which caused Makati to file an appeal with the CA where its petition for annulment of judgment was already pending. These actions led Taguig to raise the issue with the Supreme Court pleading that Makati should be penalized for abusing the legal process, with the SC concurring with Taguig’s stance that Makati committed a violation of the forum shopping rule. With that SC ruling, Taguig filed its motion to dismiss with the CA and the latter in its latest decision granted Taguig’s prayer for the dismissal of Makati’s appeal.
In a statement, Mayor Lani Cayetano hailed the CA decision as a victory for Taguigeños. She also thanked God, the CA and all those who have worked on the Taguig case from the beginning up to this day.
As she welcomed the ruling, she extends her hand of friendship to Makati and its people. “Taguig desires to work with its neighbors. We have common challenges with massive urbanization. People need our services in planning, infrastructure, health and education programs, as well as anti-crime and anti-drug campaigns. We can only solve these problems if we work together,” the lady mayor added.
Mayor Lani also assured her constituents that the P625-million scholarship program, the 24/7 super health centers, door-to-door programs like doctor-on-call, home care, and free maintenance medicines, and all social services are now more secure and will be continued and improved.
She reaffirmed her commitment to the business sector especially those based in the BGC that Taguig will remain having the lowest taxes, continue to be red-tape free and business-friendly. “We continue to think big and work to be the most investment-friendly city,” added Mayor Lani. ###
Note: Please see court decision here: