(philstar.com) | Updated March 9, 2017 - 9:37pm
The CA Special Former Sixth Division upheld Taguig’s rightful ownership of the hotly contested estate, Bonifacio Global City. BGC/Facebook
MANILA, Philippines – The Court of Appeals on Wednesday ruled that Taguig City is the rightful owner of Bonifacio Global City.
In a 17-page resolution penned by CA Associate Justice Edwin Sorongon, the CA Special Former Sixth Division upheld Taguig’s rightful ownership of BGC.
The CA granted Taguig’s motion to dismiss filed last August 23, based on Makati City's violation of the forum shopping rule, or pursuing simultaneous remedies in different venues.
It took notice of the Supreme Court’s decision on June 15 that found Makati City guilty of “willful and deliberate forum shopping.”
"[It] cannot but draw the conclusion that Makati's simultaneous availment of the aforementioned reliefs is not a by-product of mere thoughtlessness or negligence but willful and deliberate act of forum shopping [which] has sowed conflicts between the courts,” the CA said.
The CA cited that Makati City has been twice found by the SC to have committed violations of the forum shopping rule on this specific dispute. However, it still ruled that the appellate court has to give effect to the "legal consequence of dismissal" of Makati's petition.
The appellate court also dismissed Makati City’s petition on the earlier decision of the Pasig Regional Trial Court that originally ruled in favor of Taguig City.
The dispute on the ownership of BGC started in 1993 when Taguig filed a case against Makati before the Pasig Regional Trial Court contending "that the areas comprising the Enlisted Men's Barangays, or EMBOs, as well as the area referred to as Inner Fort in Fort Bonifacio, were within its territory and jurisdiction."
The RTC ruled in favor of Taguig in July 2011.
Makati subsequently filed a motion for reconsideration with the Pasig RTC and at the same time also filed a petition for annulment of judgment with the CA. However, the MR was eventually denied, which led to filing of an appeal with the CA , where its petition for annulment of judgment was already pending.
In a released statement on Thursday, Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano hailed the CA decision and considered it a victory for Taguigeños.
Despite the CA ruling, she extended friendship to Makati City.
"Taguig desires to work with its neighbors. We have common challenges with massive urbanization. People need our services in planning, infrastructure, health and education programs, as well as anti-crime and anti-drug campaigns. We can only solve these problems if we work together," Cayetano said. —Rosette Adel