Bonifacio Global City or BGC in short, is one of the top CBDs not only in Metro Manila but in the whole Philippines today.

However, did you know, that before it became part of Taguig City, multiple claims have been disputed before by another city and a municipality?

This is the story behind the reclamation of BGC and Fort Bonifacio...

The territorial extents of the cities of Makati and Taguig, and the municipality of Pateros is disputed by their local governments particularly the Fort Bonifacio area which includes the financial district of Bonifacio Global City.


Taguig has administration over Bonifacio Global City and some territory to its south as part of Fort Bonifacio. In addition, Pinagsama exercises control over the McKinley Hill area and Palar Village, while Barangay Ususan controls some exclaves along Circumferential Road 5 like Logcom Village, Wildcat Village, and Aranai. Makati claims the main BGC area to be under the jurisdiction of its Post Proper Northside and Post Proper Southside barangays, while Ususan's exclaves along the eastbound portion of C5 are also claimed by Barangay Rizal and Barangay Pembo.

Pateros claims to control the so-called Cembo barangays of Makati and some barangays under Taguig. Pateros claim includes Bonifacio Global City.

In 1993, the municipal government of Taguig filed a case against Makati before the Pasig Regional Trial Court (RTC) contending "that the areas comprising the Enlisted Men's Barangays (EMBOs), as well as the area referred to as Inner Fort in Fort Bonifacio, were within its territory and jurisdiction." The Pasig court ruled in favor of Taguig in 2011. Makati filed a motion for reconsideration at the Pasig RTC. At the same time, the city filed a petition for annulment of judgment with the CA.

The city governments of Makati and Taguig have recently fought over the jurisdiction of Fort Bonifacio because of the area's growth potential. A portion of the base, including the Libingan ng mga Bayani and the American Cemetery, lies within Taguig, while the northern portion where the Global City development is centered was considered part of Makati. A 2003 ruling by a judge in the Pasig Regional Trial Court upheld the jurisdiction of Taguig over the entirety of Fort Bonifacio, including the Bonifacio Global City and Pinagsama.

TAGUIG WAS FAVORED BY THE RULING

The Supreme Court on June 27, 2008, per Leonardo Quisumbing, dismissed the suit of the Makati, seeking to nullify Special Patents 3595 and 3596 signed by Fidel Ramos conveying to the Bases Conversion and Development Authority public land in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig. Due to a pending civil case filed by the Taguig city government asking the court to define its territorial boundaries, Makati cannot halt Taguig from collecting taxes on land located in Fort Bonifacio because it does not have any other sufficient source of sufficient income.

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RECLAMATION BY PATEROS

The municipality of Pateros, the only municipality in Metro Manila and located near Fort Bonifacio, claims that its original land area was not its present land area of 210 hectares (2.10 km2) but 1,040 hectares (10.4 km2) including Fort Bonifacio, particularly Barangays Comembo, Pembo, East Rembo, West Rembo, Cembo, South Cembo and Pitogo which are now part of Makati and Bonifacio Global City, Aranai, Ususan and Palar, Pinagsama which was made part of Taguig, based on documents and official maps obtained from some libraries and offices including USA Library of Congress and USA Archives. ("Susi ng Pateros Newsletter", 2000)

Pateros' decrease in the territory was accounted to a cadastral mapping in Metro Manila conducted in 1978. The late Pateros Mayor Nestor Ponce challenged the map through an objection letter dated June 23, 1978. In January 1986, former President Ferdinand Marcos issued Proclamation No. 2475 which stated that Fort Bonifacio is in Makati and it's open for disposition. Because of that, a boundary dispute arose which moved Pateros to request a dialogue about that with the then Municipal Council of Makati in 1990. Pateros also filed a complaint against Taguig at the Makati RTC in 1996 but the trial court dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction. The case was moved to the Court of Appeals in 2003 but was denied. The same case was moved to the Supreme Court in 2009, and it was denied again.

DESICION OF SUPREME COURT

The Supreme Court, on June 16, 2009, per Antonio Eduardo B. Nachura denied Pateros’ petition against Taguig but ruled that the boundary dispute should be settled amicably by their respective legislative bodies based on Section 118(d) of the Local Government Code.

Pursuant to the decision, Pateros invited Taguig to a council-to-council dialogue on October 8, 2009. Four meetings were held and at the fourth dialogue on November 23, 2009, a joint resolution was made stating that Taguig is requesting a tripartite conference between Pateros, Taguig and Makati.

TAGUIG'S MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION

On August 22, 2013, the Taguig city government filed a Motion for Reconsideration before the Court of Appeals' Sixth Division affirming its claim on Fort Bonifacio. With the filing of the said Motion for Reconsideration, Taguig's jurisdiction forces itself over Fort Bonifacio.

According to Taguig's legal department, jurisprudence and the rules of procedure in the country's justice system all say that the filing of a motion for reconsideration suspends the execution of a decision and puts it in limbo.

On June 15, 2016, in a 27-page decision by the Second Division of the Supreme Court, the decision found Makati guilty of direct contempt for forum shopping.

FINAL DESICION

On October 3, 2017, the Court of Appeals upheld its final decision in favor of the city government of Taguig and not Makati. The SC also sought Makati guilty of forum shopping after simultaneously appealing the Pasig RTC ruling and filing a petition before the CA, both seeking the same relief. Though Makati, maintained its claim over the disputed area.

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