BGC complex is part of Taguig City, says Supreme Court
BAGUIO CITY, Philippines — The Supreme Court has reinstated a decision by the Pasig City Regional Trial Court declaring the Fort Bonifacio Military Reservation, which includes the Bonifacio Global City (BGC) lifestyle and business district, as part of Taguig City.
“Clearly, the greater weight of evidence, consisting in contemporaneous acts of lawful authorities, favor the position of Taguig,” the High Court’s Third Division said in a 53-page decision made public Wednesday.
The same ruling also made permanent the writ of preliminary injunction issued in 1994 also by the Pasig City Regional Trial Court that stopped Makati City “from exercising jurisdiction over, making improvements on, or otherwise treating as part of its territory, Parcels 3 and 4, Psu-2031 comprising Fort Bonifacio.”
Covered by the area are the business district Bonifacio Global City, the Philippine Army headquarters, Navy installation, Marines headquarters, Consular area, JUSMAG, Heritage Park, Libingan ng mga Bayani, AFP Officers Village, and six other villages.
Makati said in its petition that the Court of Appeals erred in its decision when it dismissed its appeal not on the merits but because of forum shopping.
Forum shopping is the filing of multiple suits based on similar facts in the hopes of obtaining a favorable ruling by a court.
Merits-wise, Makati City said Presidential Numbers 2475 and 518 are constitutional. The city explained that the two proclamations did not alter boundaries but merely confirmed that the disputed areas are under Makati City’s jurisdiction.
The Pasig City court, however, ruled that both proclamations are unconstitutional.
But the high court, in its recent ruling, did not touch on the constitutionality of the two proclamations.
While Taguig City maintains that both proclamations altered its boundaries, the Supreme Court said “both the assailed proclamations did not expressly alter Taguig’s boundaries. Rather, they merely opened disposition on a certain portion of the military reservation covered by Proclamation No. 423 and amendments thereto. The assailed proclamations’ only error lies in the declarations that the disputed areas are within the jurisdiction of Makati.”
“We, thus, reiterate our policy of constitutional avoidance, that is, if the controversy on the constitutionality of a statute can be settled on other grounds, this Court stays its hand from ruling on the constitutional issue,” it added.
The high court has made its ruling based on historical evidence and cadastral surveys submitted by Taguig City.
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