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Fort Bonifacio belongs to Makati City

he Court of Appeals (CA) ordered Taguig “to immediately cease and desist from exercising jurisdiction within the disputed area and return the same to Makati; and [ordered it] to pay the cost of suit.”

The decision was penned by Justice Marlene Gonzales-Sison and concurred in by Justices Hakim Abdulwahid and Edwin Sorongon.

The CA said Presidential Proclamation No.2475 and Proclamation No.518, issued by Presidents Ferdinand Marcos and Corazon Aquino, respectively,are both constitutional and valid. These two proclamations cover the transfer to

the City of Makati of 729.15 hectares of Fort Bonifacio that were within the boundary of the Municipality of Taguig.

In its decision, the CA said that the Pasig City Regional Trial Court (RTC) committed an error in declaring the two proclamations as unconstitutional and invalid as they altered boundaries and transferred the disputed areas from Taguig City to Makati City.

It pointed out that since 1970 the seven military barangays have been indicated as parts of Makati City and that all the residents have been voting as Makati City voters in local and national elections

“Hence, Presidential Proclamation Nos. 2475 and 518 did not alter boundaries instead confirmed that said area is under the jurisdiction of Makati,” the CA ruled.

At the same time, the CA noted the delay on the part of Taguig City to file its complaint.

It said that Proclamation 2475 was enacted in 1986 while Proclamation 518 was issued 1990, but Taguig only filed the complaint in 1993 when the proposed cityhood of Makati was being debated in Congress.

Citing a Supreme Court decision, the CA said that “considerable delay in asserting one’s right before a court of justice is strongly persuasive of the lack of merit of his claim, since it is human nature for a person to enforce his right when same is threatened or invaded.”

Associate Justices Hakim Abdulwahid and Edwin Sorongon concurred in the decision.

“Makati‘s claim on these areas have historical and legal bases,” said Salgado, citing that the local government has yet to receive a copy of the CA decision.