BAGUIO CITY – The management of the Camp John Hay Development Corporation (CJHDevCO) criticized the State-owned Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) for continuously misleading the public in relation to its blunder that resulted to the mutual restitution of the original and revised lease agreements for the privatization of the 247-hectare John Hay Special Economic Zone (JHSEZ) to generate income from the former military bases in order to be used for the modernization of the country’s armed forces.
Robert John Sobrepeña, CJHDevCo chairman and chief executive officer, accused BCDA of unwisely spending public funds through paid national and local advertisements just to mislead the people on the status of the conflict that the government created for themselves in order to justify their unnecessary expenditures.
Earlier, BCDA stated in its paid advertisements that CJHDevCo has been divested of its authority to manage and administer the JHSEZ and that the public was cautioned from making any payment to the developer.
However, the CJHDevCo official argued that such claim is contrary to the Court of Appeals (CA) directive to the developer to vacate and cease its operation in the leased premises only upon BCDA’s full payment of P1.42 billion to the developer which the government has not yet paid to date.
Because of BCDA’s failure to comply with the CA decision upholding the earlier arbitral ruling, he countered the developer has no available option but to continue with the management of the leased premises in the special economic zone and that the BCDA was simultaneously ordered by the same decision to respect CJHDevCo’s contracts with all third parties.
According to him, BCDA’s warning to the public against making any payment to the developer appears to be a deliberate attempt by the State Corporation to disregard the CA decision which resolved the status quo in Camp John Hay, with CJHDevCo in control and in management of the camp until the BCDA makes the full P1.42 billion to the developer.
The CJHDevCo official emphasized BCDA itself confirmed the right of CJHDevCo to control, administer and manage the camp in its petition filed last September 2015 before the Supreme Court (SC) seeking the High Court to order the developer to stop from acts of administration and management of the camp even without the P1.42 billion payment to the developer as ordered by the CA.
He cited that just as what the BCDA had done on April 23, 2015 when they issued through the Baguio RTC sheriff the notice to vacate to all residents and investors at CJH, their own recently published notice to the public appears to be yet another misleading tactic of the BCDA and simultaneously pre-empt the decision of the SC on its pending petition before the highest court of the land.
In the interest of keeping the high standards of CJH, including such critical needs as security, utilities, garbage collection, physical conditions, forest protection and management, overall aesthetics and all CJH is known for, Sobrepeña cited it is crucial to keep supporting the developer until such time that the SC shall render a final ruling on the case.
In the case of the rent that are collected, he revealed that the amount is being kept in escrow until such time that the court shall determine which between the two agencies are authorized to receive the payments.
By Dexter A. See