Taguig seeks to inhibit CA justice from Bonifacio dispute
MANILA, Philippines - Taguig City on Wednesday filed a motion seeking the inhibition of a Court of Appeals associate justice, who penned the decision awarding a huge portion of Fort Bonifacio to Makati City.
In an Urgent Motion to Inhibit filed before the CA's Sixth Division, Taguig City is asking for the inhibition of Associate Justice Marlene Gonzales-Sison because of her husband's association with Vice President Jejomar Binay, whose son Junjun is currently mayor of Makati.
"Circumstances show that Honorable Marlene Gonzales-Sison, the ponente in the captioned case, does not seem to possess the cold neutrality to fairly and impartially resolve the issues involving the territorial dispute between plaintiff-appellee City of Taguig and defendant-appellant City of Makati," the motion said.
It noted that the justice's impartiality is questionable, since her husband Cassy Sison is a Manila councilor who ran and won under Binay's United Nationalist Alliance. It even described Sison as a known UNA stalwart.
"Indeed, Atty. Cassy Sison's affiliation with UNA - whose key personalities strongly advocate that the disputed property is part of defendant-appellant City of Makati - has created a strong suspicion on Hon. Gonzales-Sison's impartiality."
Gonzales-Sison penned the July 30 CA ruling that declared Makati, not Taguig, is the owner of Fort Bonifacio.
In a separate statement, Makati City said the motion to inhibit is too late and should have been done before the court issued a decision.
"We are at a loss as to the reason for the motion, since one can only ask for inhibition before a decision is rendered, and not after. However, we lament Taguig's desperate attempt to politicize the issue...To inject politics into a boundary dispute is clearly meant to muddle the issue and divert attention from Taguig's failure to show concrete evidence," it said.