BCDA ready to pay P1.4B

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BAGUIO CITY- The Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) is ready to pay back the P1.4 billion to the Camp John Hay Development Corporation pursuant to the 280 page decision of the Makati-based Philippine Dispute Resolution Center, Inc. (PDRCI) in relation to the mutual restitution of the lease agreement of the 247-hectare John Hay Special Economic Zone (JHSEZ).

BCDA president and chief executive officer Arnel Paciano Casanova said the State-owned corporation has enough money to pay its obligations and one of them is the payment it has to give back to CJHDevCo in order for the developer to already leave the special economic zone after the rescission of the lease agreement and the subsequent revised agreements over the past 18 years.

“Definitely, we have enough money to pay our obligations that we have,” he said stressing the locators, buyers and other investors in Camp John Hay should lay claim on the P1.4B it will pay CJHDevCo for them to be able to recover their money and investments and not allow the developer to simply leave the premises of the camp.

Casanova explained as early as August 2011, the BCDA through the John Hay Management Corporation has been trying to ask CJHDevCo copies of its financial statements, contracts and other documents relevant to the development of residential and commercial establishments within the latter’s leased area.

But he said in a letter dated November 11, 2011, the CJHDevCo refused to disclosed the demanded confidential documents without authorization of the parties involved.

Casanova emphasized as a consequence, CJHDevCo must be held liable for the locators, sub-lessees and buyers in Camp John Hay.

He noted the BCDA, after the arbitration decision, is not trying to evict the sub-lessees by themselves but is instead trying to make CJHDevCo accountable for them considering that they do not honor questionable contracts that were concealed from them over the past three years.

Casanova is encouraging locators and other investors in Camp John Hay to come out and reach out to the BCDA so that their contracts with the CJHDevCo can be reviewed and identify if they have rights to assert and protect even as sub-lessees, sub-locators and buyers.

This as the BCDA president claimed there have been fraudulent contracts made by the Sobrepeña-led company through the years of their operating inside John Hay as they failed to submit the required audited financial statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) but declared billions of pesos in dividends for his company’s shareholders.

Once proven locators and investors are legitimate and have paid for business in the camp in good faith, then Casanova suggested they should run after CJHDevCo and seek for reimbursement from the P1.4 billion before the developer will leave the camp with the amount that they would pay the same as a requisite to their turning over the facilities and improvements to the government.

While Casanova acknowledged the developments made by CJHDevCo that it will leave behind as compensation, Casanova highlighted the developments cannot be fully turned over to the BCDA since they are still owned and named under the business locators and investors.

The BCDA has already filed a petition for confirmation and Writ of Execution of the PDRCI decision and that both the government and the developer are awaiting the court’s decision on the matter.

But for the meantime, it encourages business locators and investors in the camp to have their contracts reviewed and discuss it with them so they can be informed of whatever rights they can assert from both BCDA and CJHDevCo.

“We will never respect fraudulent contracts,” he said but stressed it will respect contracts that are clean and were made in good faith.

Sobrepeña earlier stated in a separate press conference once the decision on the arbitration is made final and the P1.4B has been paid back to them, CJHDevCo will vacate Camp John Hay peacefully and adhere to all the provisions of the decision.

By Dexter A. See

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