ALTHOUGH the decision of the Court of Appeals (CA) was not yet final and executory, the Makati city government on Tuesday expressed eagerness to exercise jurisdiction over the disputed Fort Bonifacio.
According to Pio Kenneth Dasal, head of the Makati city Law Department,
the lifting of the preliminary injunction issued by the lower court should be executed immediately.
“We cannot implement the decision because it is not yet final and executory but we can already continue exercising acts of jurisdiction because of the lifting of the injunction,” he added.
He said they agreed that the CA decision is not yet final and executory and that Taguig City may still file an appeal.
However, Dasal said the lifting of the injunction last July 30, 2013 is in itself a recognition on the part of the CA that Makati may now continue exercising jurisdiction over the disputed area.
“In other words, we are merely continuing what we have been doing before the issuance of the baseless injunction,” he said.
He further explained that Makati will merely be resuming its exercise of jurisdiction over the disputed area, including the delivery of basic public services to its constituents, which it had been doing before the issuance of the ‘baseless injunction’.
“Before Taguig filed the case in 1993, Makati had been exercising jurisdiction over the disputed area through its Barangays Southside and Northside,” he said.
But this was interrupted when the injunction was issued against Makati in 1994 and Taguig took over the disputed area, in violation of the principles of injunction, he added.
Dasal pointed out that the illegal takeover of Taguig over Makati’s barangays has caused the ‘absurd situation’ where barangays supposedly under its jurisdiction have been participating in Makati’s local and national elections since early 1970s until now.
“Contrary to what Taguig local officials claim, it was Taguig who took over Makati’s barangays despite the fact that the case was still pending and thus, the status quo should have prevailed,” he said.
Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay earlier said the city government will declare a moratorium on tax collections for the third and fourth quarters of the year from business and commercial establishments in the Bonifacio Global City.
He also proposed a revenue-sharing arrangement with Taguig under a special administrative body that will govern the BGC.
The mayor said the proposal was meant to underscore Makati’s desire to help the people of Taguig.
“We want to show that this is not about revenues. We simply wanted to get back what is rightfully and historically ours,” Binay said.
He also gave assurances that there will be no tax increases amid efforts to unify the tax rates of Makati and Fort Bonifacio, which is currently using Taguig’s rate.
Binay pointed out that Makati survived despite not being able to collect taxes from Bonifacio Global City for the past 20 years.
“If we are lower then we’ll retain our rates. If we are higher, we’ll bring it down to Taguig’s rates,” he said. RITCHIE A. HORARIO