Taguig won’t give up Fort BonifacioBy Nathaniel R. Melican
Philippine Daily Inquirer
A Taguig official has vowed to help the city keep its hold on Fort Bonifacio, the rapidly growing business center east of the Makati Central Business District.
Ricardo Jordan, the city council’s majority floor leader who was part of the group of politicians who fought to take Fort Bonifacio from Makati’s control in the 1990s, said that the rapid rise of the area as a premier business center has helped Taguig grow into a highly urbanized city.
“Fort Bonifacio has helped our city’s finances grow, from a budget of P70 million in the 1980s to P4.5 billion this year. We get most of that from the businesses there. Without Fort Bonifacio, without the Bonifacio Global City, Taguig would still be a sleepy town today,” he told the Inquirer.
Earlier this year, Taguig’s neighbor and the lone municipality in Metro Manila, Pateros, filed a civil case in the Taguig City Regional Trial Court (RTC) in which it laid claim to the 461.56-hectare Fort Bonifacio area which hosts the fast growing commercial centers of Bonifacio Global City and McKinley Hill.
The lawsuit also sought to take back from Makati City control over the barangays of Cembo, South Cembo, West Rembo, East Rembo, Comembo, Pembo and Pitogo which account for a total land area of 304.45 hectares.
The initial hearing for the case, raffled off to Taguig RTC Branch 271 under presiding Judge Paz Esperanza Cortez, has been set on Thursday, May 17.
Jordan said Taguig had to go to court to take back Fort Bonifacio after an executive order issued by then President Ferdinand Marcos declared the area as part of Makati’s territory in 1986.
“We fought for our right to exercise jurisdiction over Fort Bonifacio. Historical documents from the Spanish period state that the area is under what was then called ‘El Pueblo de Taguig,’” he added.
“The court has recognized that. In 1996, a court ordered Makati to stop exercising jurisdiction in the area while another decision just last year recognized that Fort Bonifacio is ours,” he added.
Despite this, Jordan said the city would respect the outcome of the court case filed by Pateros.
“I understand where Pateros is coming from because their land area is so small, there is no room for development. If the court thinks the land is [owned by] Pateros, then so be it,” he said.