Makati mayor wants city to have police jurisdiction over ‘inner Fort Bonifacio’

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Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Jun-Jun” Binay. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Now he wants the police to be on his side.

Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay has asked Chief Supt. Jose Erwin Villacorte, director, head of the Southern Police District, to formalize the turnover of the police jurisdiction over the inner Fort from Taguig police to the Makati police.

Binay on Tuesday was invited as the guest of honor at the 112th Police Service Anniversary Celebration at the SPD headquarters in Fort Bonifacio.

At the event, the mayor, who claimed that the Court of Appeals ruling handing back Fort Bonifacio to Makati has been meant to be immediately executory, emphasized that his city “is determined to uphold its jurisdiction over these areas.”

Its neighboring Taguig City is still contesting the ruling and has asked the appellate court justice who penned the earlier decision to inhibit herself from the case.

“The Makati police now has jurisdiction over the inner Fort and other areas covered by the Court decision.  I expect the SPD, through the leadership of General Villacorte, to issue the necessary directives to formalize the turnover from the Taguig police to the Makati Police Department, in compliance with the lawful order of the Court of Appeals,” Binay said in a statement.

Binay said the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) was already informed about the city’s intention to immediately assume jurisdiction over the 729-hectare portion of Fort Bonifacio, including the revenue-rich Bonifacio Global City.

“As agents of the law, I am sure you are well aware of the fact that an injunction order restrains a party from performing a certain act. When the Pasig RTC issued an injunction in 1994, it stopped Makati from exercising jurisdiction over these areas. With the Court of Appeals lifting the injunction, Makati can now resume exercising its rightful jurisdiction.  It cannot get any simpler than that,” Binay said.

Binay noted that during the SPD’s last command conference, the legal counsel of the SPD agreed with Makati as “there can be no other way of interpreting the decision of the Court,” he said.

In his speech, Binay rapped Taguig’s defiance of the CA ruling, and branded “the sudden proliferation of banners” all over the Bonifacio Global City and along C-5 road as an “emotional campaign” attempting to gloss over the real issue – the lack of legal basis for its claim.

Binay warned that the failure to uphold the rule of law would have dire consequences, “more so if the defiance is being done by public servants and when they employ the resources of their offices, in short, taxpayers’ money – in willfully defying the law.”

“We were able to prove Makati’s historical and legal claim. Taguig was not able to present evidence and according to the Court, even submitted documents that were not attested to or cross-examined,” Binay said.

In fact, he said, the Court made it clear that it found the documents submitted by Taguig to be “fake and dubious.” “Hindi po kami ang nagsabi niyan, ang Court of Appeals po (We were not the ones who said that; the Court of Appeals did),” Binay said during the SPD event.

The headquarters of the SPD is part of the contested “inner fort,” which, according to the Court of Appeals ruling last month, belongs to Makati.

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