Pateros: Fort Bonifacio is ours

By Dharel Placido, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Aug 07 2013 09:17 AM | Updated as of Aug 08 2013 02:38 AM

MANILA – Pateros has joined the dispute over Fort Bonifacio, which the appeals court earlier ruled belongs to Makati City.

In an interview with dzMM, Mayor Joey Medina said Pateros, Metro Manila's only municipality and also the poorest, should have jurisdiction over Fort Bonifacio and its surrounding areas.

Medina said the area covering Fort Bonifacio used to be called "Barrio Mamangkat".

He said a case was filed by the town last year before the Taguig City Regional Trial Court Branch 271 seeking to reclaim the lot.

"May claim kami dyan. Ang aming claim ay dinidinig sa husgado. Buhay na buhay ang claim ng bayan ng Pateros. Ang kine-claim ng bayan ng Pateros ay kabuuan ng Global City. Iyan din ay kasama sa aming kaso na ngayon ay nasa husgado," he said.

The municipality filed the petition way back in the late 1980s but it was refiled last year at the Taguig RTC Branch 271 after the Supreme Court junked its bid in 2009.

Medina added Pateros has lagged behind Metro Manila's cities in terms of growth and reclaiming the Fort Bonifacio property would give it a boost.

"Umaasa kami na ang aming bayan, na sa totoo lang ay napakaliit, ay mabigyan naman ng pansin para naman ho makasabay sa pag-unlad ng malalaking siyudad na aming mga kapitbahay," he said.

CA awards Fort Boni to Makati

Pateros' claim resurfaced after the Court of Appeals (CA) recently ordered Taguig City to stop exercising jurisdiction over the 729-hectare lot since this area is part of Makati City.

In a 37-page ruling penned by Associate Justice Marlene Gonzales-Sison, the appellate court’s sixth division upheld several presidential fiats declaring Fort Boni as part of Makati.

The ruling can be appealed, but the appellate court ordered Taguig to immediately cease and desist from exercising jurisdiction over the disputed areas.

Makati City spokesman Joey Salgado said "Makati's claim on these areas have historical and legal bases. We have always maintained they are part of Makati and we are glad that the CA has upheld our jurisdiction."

The Court of Appeals noted since 1970, the national census had already included 7 military barangays -- (Cembo, South Cembo, East Rembo, West Rembo, Comembo, Pembo and Pitogo) as well as the Inner Fort barangays (Barangay Post Proper Northside and Barangay Post Proper Southside)-- as part of Makati's jurisdiction.

Bonifacio Global City is also part of the Inner Fort.