posted October 16, 2015 at 11:50 pm by Othel V. Campos [ manilastandardtoday.com ]
The Bases Development Authority regained control of the posh 47-hectare residential property claimed by former army officers in the former Fort Andres Bonifacio Military Reservation area, now Bonifacio Global City.
The Supreme Court upheld an earlier ruling of the Court of Appeals canceling the ownership of the Navy Officers’ Village Association Inc. in the contested property.
BCDA president and chief excutive Arnel Paciano Casanova said in a statement by recovering the contested land, the government would be able to pursue development plans within the BGC and strengthen the agency’s contribution to the country’s defense capabilities and internal security.
The NOVAI is a group of retired military officers who earlier claimed ownership of the disputed property.
“The high tribunal has spoken and justice is served, a clear message that no one is above the law, including usurpers and land grabbers from the ranks of retired military generals,” Casanova said.
R.A. No. 7227 mandated the BCDA to own and administer military reservations, including those located in the former Fort Bonifacio military reservation area.
The 475,009 square-meter parcel of land is now estimated to be worth over P47 billion based on the current selling price of about P100,000 per square meter.
Remittances from the BCDA help fund the national government’s development projects, including the modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
The BCDA remitted P14.7 billion to the Bureau of Treasury and the Bureau of Internal Revenue from January 2010 to May 2015.
The AFP’s share from the remittances totaled P6.7 billion.
The BCDA earlier petitioned the courts to prohibit NOVAI to acquire the property being an inalienable land of public domain at that time.
The Court of Appeals on August 20, 2004 reversed the decision of the Regional Trial Court Branch 67 of Pasig City, which dismissed the complaint filed by the government against NOVAI.
The CA ruled that the property claimed by NOVAI “is inalienable land of the public domain and cannot be disposed of or be the subject of a sale.” The decision said the property remained reserved for the rehabilitation purposes of military veterans under Proclamation No. 478, the latest executive issuance affecting the property.
BCDA’s revenues steadily increased from P3.5 billion in 2011 to P11.8 billion in 2015 by developing former military camps, while dividend contributions to the national government rose from P2.1 billion to P3.2 billion from 2011 to 2015.