BCDA assets CJHDevCo’s liability to sub-lessors

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BAGUIO CITY  – The state-owned Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) said that the Sobrepeña-led Camp John Hay Development Corporation (CJHDevCo) is liable to the sub-lessees, sub-locators and buyers they have signed contracts with and just cannot turn their backs on them contrary to earlier claims of the developer that third party locators are buyers in good faith.

BCDA head for legal services lawyer Peter Paul Andrew T. Flores said CJHDevCo is misleading the sub-lessees, sub-locators and buyers of Camp John Hay by telling them that BCDA is aware of their contracts and should honor their contracts.

“Contrary to what the CJHDevCo has claimed, the BCDA is not privy to the contracts so how could the BCDA honor it,” Flores said.

He said as early as August 2011, the BCDA through the John Hay Management Corporation (JHMC), BCDA’s management arm in Camp John Hay, has requested CJHDevCo copies of all contracts and other relevant documents related to the development of all residential homes, estates and condotels within the leased area such as but not limited to deeds of absolute sale, limited warranty deeds, and deeds of restrictions, among others.

However, CJHDevCo refused. Flores cited the letter of CJHDevCo COO Alfredo R. Yniguez III to JHMC President and CEO Jamie Eloise Agbayani dated 11 November 2011 who said: “Owing to the nature of all these contracts which outline sensitive and confidential commercial, contractual and financial information, and which are not to be disclosed to anyone without the express written authorization of the parties involved, we regret to inform you that CJHDevCo is under no clear obligation to furnish JHMC such copies.”

“Did CJHDevCo ever ask the sub-lessees, sub-locators and buyers authorization to give a copy of their contracts to JHMC?” Flores pointed out. “Is there a hidden motive why CJHDevCo continues to refuse to provide the BCDA copies of the contracts?” Flores added.

According to Flores, CJHDevCo concealed the contracts of the sub-lessees and sub-locators to JHMC and BCDA. This makes CJHDevCo liable to the sub-lessees and sub-locators, therefore, the sub-lessees and sub-locators should go after CJHDevCo.

Flores said the sub-lessees, sub-locators and buyers should start realizing they are being played by CJHDevCo to hear what they want to hear so that they will not run after CJHDevCo.

Flores called on the sub-lessees, sub-locators and buyers not to accept legal services being offered by CJHDevCo which the latter is doing to evade liability and not be sued by the sub-lessees, sub-locators and buyers.

Earlier, BCDA President and CEO Arnel Paciano D. Casanova advised the sub-lessees, sub-locators and buyers to seek legal counsel to ensure that their rights and interests will be protected.  “The last thing we want to happen is for their contracts to be a worthless piece of paper like what happened with the College Assurance Plan (CAP).”

Casanova also urged the sub-lessees, sub-locators and buyers to run after the CJHDevCo. He said that the only way for the CJHDevCo’s victims to recover their investments and protect their interests is to lay claim to the P1.42-B.

In a similar move, Baguio Representative Nicasio M. Aliping Jr. is also looking into claiming Baguio’s share in the amount of P850-M from the P1.42-B that BCDA will be returning to the CJHDevCo.  Baguio has a 25 percent stake from the lease payments by CJHDevCo. The lease payment arrears of CJHDevCo has ballooned to P3.4 billion, of which P850-M belongs to the City of Baguio.

It would be recalled that in the decision of the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center Inc. (PDRCI) on the arbitration case between the BCDA and CJHDevCo, the BCDA was ordered to return to CJHDevCo the amount of P1.42-B representing all the lease payments it paid to the BCDA.

The CJHDevCo on the other hand was ordered “to VACATE the Leased Premises and promptly deliver the Leased Property, inclusive of all new constructions and permanent improvements introduced during the term of the Lease as reckoned from the execution of the Original Lease Agreement to Respondent [BCDA] in good and tenantable condition in all respects, reasonable wear and tear excepted.”

However, in a separate decision penned by Teodoro Kalaw IV, one of the three arbitrators on the case, he stated that CJHDevCo has acknowledged that it owes the government P2.4 billion and should pay BCDA the amount.

CJHDevCo is owned and managed by Fil-Estate Corporation, chaired by Robert John Sobrepeña, who also owns and manages the College Assurance Plan, the pre-need company known to have defaulted on its obligations to plan holders, and the Metro Rail Transit Development Corporation (MRTDevco).

By Dexter A. See

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