Agencies ready transfer of Makati villages to Taguig
Although it has yet to receive a writ of execution that will pave the way for the implementation of a 2021 Supreme Court decision transferring jurisdiction over 10 “Embo” barangays from Makati City to Taguig, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said it was already working with concerned agencies to address the court ruling.
In a phone interview on Wednesday, Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos said they had begun talking to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) about preparing the 10 affected barangays now under Taguig City for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections to be held on Oct. 30.
“Comelec chair George Garcia and I agree that it’s imperative to take action because there’s not much time left before the elections. We respect the Supreme Court’s definition of the cities’ territorial boundaries and are coordinating accordingly,” Abalos said.
In a Dec. 1, 2021, decision, the high tribunal’s Third Division declared permanent the injunction issued by the Pasig Regional Trial Court in 1994 stopping the Makati government from exercising jurisdiction over the Inner Fort, composed of Barangays Pembo, Comembo, Cembo, South Cembo, West Rembo, East Rembo, Pitogo, Rizal, Post Proper Northside and Post Proper Southside, as well as the military reservation Fort Bonifacio, where the 240-hectare Bonifacio Global City is located.
The court ruled that, based on historical, documentary and testimonial evidence, the contested areas fall within the territorial jurisdiction of Taguig. It denied the first motion for reconsideration filed by Makati City in September 2022, with the decision becoming final in April.
According to Abalos, as early as May, the DILG had written to the court requesting guidance on the implementation of the decision and also activated transition teams.
“We could not just wait for the writ of execution as it would create chaos in the affected communities. What we wanted to achieve was that there would be a seamless transition and that services provided to the people would not be hampered,” he said.
More issues expected
Aside from the 14 public schools located in the 10 affected barangays, Abalos expected more issues to arise over jurisdiction, particularly over government offices, including hospitals and other facilities under the DILG. Among these are the Makati City-funded and operated Ospital ng Makati, police stations and substations under the Philippine National Police, fire stations and substations under the Bureau of Fire Protection, as well as the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology-supervised Makati City Jail.
Abalos said that jurisdiction over these should be addressed, since complaints could be dismissed for being filed in the wrong prosecutor’s office.
Makati City Mayor Abby Binay, meanwhile, said that in a previous meeting with Taguig and Department of Education officials, her request to keep Makati Science High School (MSHS) and two other schools under her city’s supervision was denied.She said that in the case of MSHS, Makati would be left without a science high school.
“I [also asked to retain] two other schools, which [are] right beside the University of Makati because we will be converting parts of the school—Fort Bonifacio High School—into a senior high school laboratory for the University of Makati,” she told a CNN interview on Wednesday. The other school is Fort Bonifacio Elementary School.