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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Taguig a ‘bully’ for padlocking park—Makati

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Taguig City “is a bully” and showed its true colors in twisting the law and using force to claim what isn’t theirs, the Makati City government said Sunday.

Tensions between the neighboring cities escalated as Makati warned Taguig of having “blood on its hands” should their ongoing clash over the Makati Park and Garden – in an area now under Taguig’s control—lead to violence.

Taguig City ordered the temporary closure of the property yesterday, citing lack of necessary permits.

Makati City responded by saying the move essentially trapped some of its employees inside the park, while personnel from the Taguig Public Order and Safety Office (POSO) “began massing up in front of the park.”

The Makati Park and Garden is situated in Barangays West Rembo and Cembo, which were previously under the jurisdiction of Makati City but now belong to Taguig City following a final Supreme Court decision to settle their boundary dispute in 2023.

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Makati reiterated its call “for the concerned national agencies to censure Taguig for its actions” and repeated its “determination to resort to all available courses of action to preserve and protect our properties.”

“Ngayong araw na ito, naglantad na ng tunay na mukha ang pamunuuan ng Taguig. Taguig is a bully. Inaangkin nila ang hindi sa kanila. At binabaluktot nila ang batas at gumagamit ng dahas para mangamkam ng pag-aari ng iba,” Makati said in a statement.

It added that Taguig served its closure order on Makati Park for supposedly not having a business permit on the same day at 6:40 a.m.

“The park’s gate was padlocked by men with scarves covering their faces. Several Makati employees remain trapped inside the park. They then proceeded to block all entrances, erected barricades, and deployed some 100 Taguig personnel to surround the perimeter of the park,” Makati said.

“Taguig claims the park is being used as a garage. If this were true, then why issue a closure order on a Sunday and serve it on the same day at 6:40 a.m.? Why deploy 100 uniformed personnel to serve a closure order on a garage?”

Taguig City explained that its actions were in accordance with the Local Government Code, jurisprudence and ordinances to regulate any business, trade, or activity within its territory.

“Makati Garden and Park has no permits from Taguig City Hall,” it said in its own statement.

“The said park and garden, which has been effectively closed as a park by Makati and used as garage for its heavy equipment and storage for various objects, is subject to Taguig’s jurisdiction, which has the right to possess and administer the same notwithstanding Makati’s unlawful possession,” Taguig City added.

But Makati said Taguig, by insisting that its neighbor needs to secure a permit for the park, “affirms our ownership of the property. This contradicts their earlier statement, but by now, we are accustomed to Taguig’s legal somersaults and twisted logic,” the statement added.

“By displaying overwhelming force, Taguig clearly intends to intimidate. But Makati will not be intimidated. We will not yield to a bully,” it said.

Taguig’s handling of the Makati Park issue, as well as other issues involving the EMBO communities, is “childish, arrogant, and reckless,” Makati LGU said.

“And at a time when the national government is working tirelessly to attract foreign investments, Taguig’s scandalous actions can send the wrong signals to potential investors. How can foreign investors feel secure and protected when a local government in Metro Manila can behave with little regard for the law and the legal process?” it said.

In its initial statement, after the padlocking, Makati said: “We received information that they will once again attempt to occupy Makati park. Should there be violence, there will be blood on Taguig’s hands.”

It added that resorting to violence is against the law “and must have no place in our modern society.” In September 2022, the Supreme Court rejected Makati’s Motion for Reconsideration assailing its 2021 decision which placed the Fort Bonifacio Military Reservation and 10 of the so-called ‘Enlisted Men’s Barrios’ (EMBO) under the territory of Taguig City.

The EMBO barangays include the villages of Cembo, Comembo, Pembo, East Rembo, West Rembo, South Cembo, Pitogo, Post Proper Northside, Post Proper Southside, and Rizal.

Editor’s Note: This is an updated article. Originally posted with the headline “READ | Statement of Makati City Government on the Closure Order of Taguig on Makati Park.”

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