CA denies Makati's appeal for jurisdiction over Fort Bonifacio

MANILA, Philippines – The Court of Appeals (CA) denied the appeal of the Makati City local government to reverse an earlier ruling that favored Taguig City and effectively gave the latter the right of jurisdiction over Fort Andres Bonifacio or 'The Fort.'

The CA's former Special Sixth Division denied Makati's motion for reconsideration that sought the reversal of a March 2017 ruling which declared that Makati committed forum shopping.

Makati appealed to the CA to be liberal with the rules citing public interests, including the political, economic and financial effects on the people of both Makati and Taguig. The CA did not find Makati's arguments sufficient.

“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 which have already been passed upon and duly addressed in our March 8, 2017 resolution, and which are unsubstantial to warrant a reconsideration thereof. Hence, we find no cogent reason to modify or reverse the said resolution,” said the CA in a decision penned by Associate Justice Edwin Sorongon.

Timeline

In 2011, the Pasig Regional Trial Court (RTC) stopped Makati from exercising jurisdiction over The Fort.

In 2012, Makati appealed that decision through a motion for reconsideration before the Pasig RTC and the CA.

In 2013, CA reversed the Pasig court's ruling and gave the ownership of Fort Bonifacio back to Makati.

However, Taguig challenged it before the CA and the Supreme Court on the grounds of forum shopping. In 2016, the SC said Makati committed forum shopping. In March this year, the CA said Makati committed forum shopping.

Included in that CA March 2017 ruling was the phrase: "The instant appeal docketed as CA-G.R CV No. 98377 is hereby dismissed." Case No. 98377 was Makati's appeal before the CA in 2012 that led to their winning the case in 2013.

“Guided by the Supreme Court’s categorical and emphatic pronouncements that Makati is guilty of willful and eliberate forum shopping in City of Taguig v. City of Makati, we reiterate that the dismissal of this appeal is but a necessary legal consequence of Makati’s own acts,” the CA said. – Rappler.com