Clash Over Jurisdiction: Taguig Closes Park, Makati Warns of Possible Violence

Taguig personnel padlock the Makati Park and Garden in West Rembo, Taguig City, Sunday. Makati City personnel are still seen inside the park while Taguig police and other Taguig LGU personnel are situated outside the park. PHOTOS BY J. GERARD SEGUIA
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The local government of Taguig has recently padlocked the Makati Park and Garden, citing the lack of necessary permits. This action has further fueled the ongoing jurisdictional dispute between Taguig City and Makati City over the EMBO barangay. The situation has escalated to the point where potential violence is now a concern.

According to the Taguig City government, the Makati Garden and Park operated without permits from Taguig City Hall. They claimed that Makati City had closed down the park and was using it as a storage facility for heavy equipment and various objects. On the other hand, the Makati City government argued that there were employees trapped inside the park and warned that any attempts to take over the facility could lead to a violent confrontation.

In a statement, the Makati City government expressed their concerns, stating, “We received information that they will once again attempt to occupy Makati Park. Should there be violence, it will be blood on Taguig’s hands.” They called for the Taguig authorities to be censured by the relevant national agencies and vowed to take all necessary steps to protect and preserve their property.

The Taguig LGU officials justified their actions by referring to a 2023 Supreme Court ruling that transferred 10 villages, previously under Makati’s control, to Taguig. They claimed jurisdiction over the park based on this ruling. Citing the Local Government Code and local ordinances, the Taguig government argued that the closure was within their authority to regulate any business, trade, or activity within the City of Taguig. This included the issuance of a mayor’s permit after the submission of necessary documents and payment of fees and taxes.

On a previous occasion, the Makati LGU denounced the Taguig Traffic Management Office’s attempt to forcibly enter the establishment. They accused Taguig of trying to seize land that did not belong to them and wanting to reap the benefits of investments made by the Makati city government, funded by Makati residents’ taxes.

In response, the Taguig LGU emphasized that the park should be open to the public and not be used as a storage site. They believe that the facility should serve its intended purpose, providing a recreational space for the community.

This clash between Taguig and Makati governments over the closure of Makati Park and Garden highlights the ongoing jurisdictional dispute between the two cities. The situation has the potential to escalate further, leading to violence if not resolved peacefully. Both parties are adamant about their claims and are willing to take necessary steps to protect their interests.

It is essential for the concerned national agencies to intervene and find a resolution that respects the rule of law and safeguards the rights of both cities. The dispute should be settled through legal channels, taking into account the 2023 Supreme Court ruling and relevant local ordinances.

In the meantime, it is crucial for the public’s access to the park to be reinstated, ensuring that the intended purpose of the facility is fulfilled. Both cities should prioritize the well-being and recreational needs of their residents, setting aside their differences for the greater benefit of the community.

As this jurisdictional dispute continues, it is important for all parties involved to maintain open lines of communication and seek a peaceful resolution. The closure of Makati Park and Garden should serve as a reminder of the importance of collaboration and cooperation between neighboring cities to avoid unnecessary conflicts and promote harmony within the region.

Source: The Manila Times

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