Escalating Feud Between Makati and Taguig Over Park Takeover

Makati Mayor Mar-Len Abigail Binay
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The ongoing feud between the cities of Makati and Taguig has reached new heights, with Makati recently claiming to have foiled an alleged attempt by the Taguig Traffic Management Office (TMO) to forcefully enter Makati’s Park and Garden at Barangay West Rembo. In a statement, Makati asserted that the TMO personnel tried to gain access to the city-owned park but were ultimately prevented by security guards and personnel from the Makati Public Safety Department (PSD).

Accusations and Counterclaims
In both Filipino and English, the Makati Local Government Unit (LGU) accused Taguig of being determined to seize property, labeling it as “land grabbing.” Makati further claimed that Taguig sought to take advantage of land that did not rightfully belong to them, reaping the benefits that the people of Makati had worked hard for through their taxes. The Makati LGU suggested that Taguig officials should focus on addressing the basic needs of their constituents, highlighting complaints from residents of EMBO regarding insufficient health services and benefits, particularly for the sick and elderly.

In response, Taguig contended in its own statement that the park should be open to the public, particularly to the residents of EMBO, and should not be used as a “dumping ground.” Taguig accused Makati Mayor Mar-Len Abigail Binay of sabotage and urged her to prioritize the public’s interest, accepting the court’s decision on the matter. According to Taguig, the Supreme Court had already settled the debate.

The Supreme Court’s Ruling
Taguig emphasized that Makati had no right to accuse them of land grabbing, as the Supreme Court had ruled that Makati’s occupation of the 10 EMBO villages over 30 years was illegal. Taguig maintained that Makati lacked credibility in pretending to be the aggrieved party since the court had determined that it was Makati that encroached on Taguig’s territory. Taguig also highlighted that Makati had unlawfully collected taxes from EMBO despite the court ruling in favor of Taguig, questioning Makati’s claim of building public facilities in the area.

The Call for Peaceful Governance
Taguig urged Mayor Binay to pave the way for peaceful governance in Taguig instead of harboring anger over the loss of the 10 EMBO villages, which was a consequence of actions taken by Makati itself. Taguig alleged that Mayor Binay ordered the closure of health centers and halted the use of an ambulance from the Department of Health (DoH) intended for EMBO residents. Despite these actions, Taguig asserted that the residents were content with the health services they were providing.

Background and Legal Proceedings
The feud between Makati and Taguig dates back to 2021 when the Supreme Court ruled that the Fort Bonifacio Military Reservation and the 10 EMBO villages fell within the territory of Taguig City. Last year, Makati City filed an Urgent Motion before the Regional Trial Court of Taguig, seeking a status quo order against Taguig. Makati alleged numerous attempts by Taguig to forcibly take possession of Makati-owned facilities in the affected barangay, including housing projects, school buildings, and health centers.

The ongoing territorial dispute between Makati and Taguig has escalated, with both sides exchanging accusations and counterclaims. The Supreme Court’s ruling has played a significant role in shaping the dynamics of this feud. As the cities continue to navigate this contentious issue, it is crucial for them to prioritize the welfare of their constituents and work towards a peaceful resolution that respects the court’s decision.

Source: The Manila Times

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