CA: Taguig owns BGC, not Makati
The ritzy Bonifacio Global City (BGC) rightfully belongs to Taguig City, not Makati City, according to the Court of Appeals (CA).
The court made the reiteration as it rejected anew the Makati City government’s appeal for it to void its previous decision, which recognized Taguig’s jurisdiction over a prime 729-hectare land located within the former military camp Fort Bonifacio.
The land row between the two local governments covers properties in the revenue-rich BGC, which hosts several upscale shopping malls, condominiums, office buildings and other business establishments.
In its Oct. 3 ruling which was made public only last week, the appellate court’s Special Former Sixth Division said the Makati local government had failed to provide new grounds to warrant a reversal of its March 8 resolution that favored Taguig in the decades-long boundary dispute.
“We found nothing novel in the other arguments that were propounded in Makati’s motion for reconsideration. These were but a rehash of the issues and arguments raised in its previous pleadings,” it said.
The five-page resolution was written by Associate Justice Edwin Sorongon and was concurred in by Associate Justices Ramon Cruz and Renato Francisco.
The court did not give weight to Makati’s appeal for a “liberal interpretation” of the rules on forum shopping since the case involved “transcendental importance involving public interests.”
It also noted that the Supreme Court had ruled in November 2016 that Makati committed “willful and deliberate forum shopping” when it sought the reversal of the Pasig City Regional Trial Court’s “adverse decision” on the matter, while elevating it to the appellate court at the same time.
“We reiterate that the dismissal of this appeal is but a necessary legal consequence of Makati’s own acts,” the appellate court stressed, adding:
“For it is well-entrenched in this jurisdiction that if the forum shopping is willful and deliberate, both actions … shall be dismissed without prejudice.”
“While it is true that lapses in the literal observance of a rule of procedure will be overlooked when they arose from an honest mistake and when they have not prejudiced the adverse party, we cannot, however, downplay the detrimental effects Makati’s repetitive acts of forum shopping caused to these cases,” the court said.
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