Binay asks SPD to turn over Inner Fort to Makati Police

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THE Makati City government on Tuesday asked the Southern Police District (SPD) to start the process for the formal turnover of police jurisdiction on the Inner Fort from Taguig police to the Makati Police Department.

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Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay issued the call after he became the guest of honor during the 112th Police Service Anniversary Celebration at the SPD headquarters in Fort Bonifacio.

“The Makati Police now has jurisdiction over the inner Fort and other areas covered by the Court decision,” said Binay.

The mayor is expecting SPD Director Chief Supt. Jose Erwin Villacorte

to issue the necessary directives to formalize the turnover from the Taguig police to the Makati Police Department.

“This is in compliance with the lawful order of the Court of Appeals,” said Binay adding that Makati “is determined to uphold its jurisdiction over these areas.”

Binay said the city government has already informed the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) of its intention to immediately assume jurisdiction over the 729-hectare portion of Fort Bonifacio.

“As agents of the law, I am sure you are well aware of the fact that an injunction order restrains a party from performing a certain act,” he added.

He explained that when the Pasig Regional Trial Court (RTC) issued an injunction in 1994, it stopped Makati from exercising jurisdiction over these areas.

“But with the Court of Appeals (CA) lifting the injunction, Makati can now resume exercising its rightful jurisdiction.  It cannot get any simpler than that,” Binay said.

The mayor also said he was glad that during the SPD’s last command conference, the SPD Legal Department agreed with Makati, as “there can be no other way of interpreting the decision of the Court”, he said.

In his speech, Binay rapped Taguig’s “lamentable actions” as it continues to defy the CA ruling, and branded the sudden proliferation of banners all over the Bonifacio Global City and along C-5 road as an “emotional campaign” attempting to gloss over the real issue—the lack of legal basis for its claim.

Binay warned that failure to uphold the rule of law would have dire consequences.

“Moreso if the defiance is being done by public servants and when they employ the resources of their offices, in short, taxpayers’ money – in wilfully defying the law,” he said.

Binay said Makati’s jurisdiction goes as far back as the American Colonial Period when the area was basically “an empty tract of land.”

He made it clear that the issue has never been about revenues, pointing out Makati’s substantial annual revenue collections that have reached over P12 billion in 2012.  Binay said that during his first three years as Mayor, around P2.1 billion has been added to the city’s annual budget.

“We were fighting for these areas even before development came to the BGC. Taguig claimed the area in 1993, at around the time that the national government formed the BCDA, which then proceeded to sell military lands to the private sector,” Binay said.

He said that the Appellate Court corrected decades of injustice to the City of Makati and to the residents of Barangays Southside and Northside, which have been sorely lacking in public services in stark contrast to the rapid developments at the BGC. RITCHIE A. HORARIO

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