Makati City accuses Taguig of ‘forcible takeover’ of EMBO schools; Taguig denies claim

The city government of Makati on Saturday slammed the Taguig government for allegedly attempting to “forcibly take over” enlisted men’s barrios (EMBO) public schools following the Supreme Court decision on the boundary dispute between the two cities.

In a statement, Makati City Administrator Claro Certeza said the city condemns Taguig’s move, saying the public schools are properties titled to Makati.

According to Certeza, enforcers supposedly from Taguig’s Public Safety Department tried to forcibly take possession of several public elementary and high school buildings in the barangays from Friday night until Saturday.

“These ‘enforcers’, who did not possess any writ of execution or any other lawful order, created unnecessary tension in these areas,” Certeza said, adding that Taguig’s action was “an act of duplicity and bad faith.”

He said that the city government of Taguig previously wrote to the city of Makati requesting discussions for a smooth transition.

“Makati has already created a transition team headed by the undersigned to sit down with Taguig. We were ready to offer arrangements that would benefit the students. But Taguig apparently was not sincere and was in reality intent on using force,” he said.

“The decision of the Supreme Court involved a boundary dispute. It did not transfer to Taguig ownership of properties owned by the City of Makati,” Certeza added.

Certeza said the Makati City government will consider Taguig’s attempt to supposedly unlawfully enter and take possession of properties they own as a criminal act and shall be constrained to institute the appropriate criminal and administrative cases.

The 14 public schools located in the affected barangays in District 2 include: Fort Bonifacio Elementary School, Cembo Elementary School, South Cembo Elementary School, Pitogo Elementary School, East Rembo Elementary School, Rizal Elementary School, Comembo Elementary School, West Rembo Elementary School, Pembo Elementary School, Makati Science High School, Benigno “Ninoy” S. Aquino High School, Tibagan High School, Fort Bonifacio High School, and Pitogo High School.

The City of Taguig, meanwhile, released a statement describing Makati City’s allegation as a “lie and and another desperate attempt to mislead the public.”

“We take strong exception to the misleading and patently false statements made by the City Administrator of Makati, including the threats of criminal and administrative cases to be filed,” said Taguig in a statement.

Taguig also maintained that they’ve been conducting regular meetings in preparation for the Brigada Eskwela and the opening of the school year.

“However, in reaction to these preparations, the City of Makati in connivance with their private security firm and a few allied barangay officials, illegally barricaded the public schools and streets,” Taguig said.

The Taguig government called for professionalism, duty to the people, and adherence to the law following the Supreme Court ruling.

“While we understand that emotions still run high and it is not easy to accept the ruling of the Supreme Court, we also reiterate that there is a point where professionalism, duty to the people, and adherence to the law must rise to the top,” Taguig said. –Jamil Santos/ VAL, GMA Integrated News

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