TENSION ran high in Fort Bonifacio on Thursday when employees of Makati and Taguig cities faced off in their bid to stake their claims on the business and leisure center.
The Makati City government accused Taguig’s Bantay Bayan personnel of harassing a team from the Makati Engineering Department that was doing a land survey in Barangay Southside on Thursday morning.
Southside, one of two barangays in Fort Bonifacio’s “Inner Fort” area, is being claimed by both cities.
Makati officials said at least 12 Bantay Bayan members surrounded the Makati team and ordered the team to return to Makati City Hall.
The survey team was composed of engineers Divine Torres and Cesar Pajuelas, and draftsmen Arlan Bereda and Arman Mantilla.
Makati policemen soon arrived to assist the survey team.
Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay has ordered the city’s Legal department to file charges against the Bantay Bayan personnel.
“Since when is it illegal to conduct a land survey? For 20 years, Southside has been neglected. We are correcting this injustice and they respond in a Gestapo-like manner,” Binay said.
Reacting to the incident, Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano said Makati had no authority to survey land in Taguig. She reiterated her appeal to Binay to avoid acts that could sow confusion among residents and business establishments in the area.
She said Taguig municipal employees had invited Makati engineering officials to Taguig City Hall to explain to them that they did not have authority to conduct land surveys in the area.
However, when the Makati employees were inside Taguig City Hall vehicles, Makati policemen arrived and forcibly took the Makati engineering officials.
According to the Taguig Public Order and Safety Office (POSO), one SPO1 Castrillo of the Makati police even attempted to draw his gun.