Developer ready to vacate John Hay says BCDA


BAGUIO CITY – The state-owned Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) welcomed the move of the Sobrepeña-led Camp John Hay Development Corporation (CJHDevCo) to vacate Camp John Hay and turnover all its buildings and facilities in good and tenantable condition to the BCDA as evidenced by its latest legal action with the local court.

Last Friday, the CJHDevCo filed a Judicial Confirmation before the city’s Regional Trial Court that would pave the way for the implementation of CJHDevCo’s exit in Camp John Hay. The filing of the Judicial Confirmation will allow the Baguio RTC to issue a Writ of Execution to enforce the exit and turnover of the property after BCDA shall have paid to the developer the amount of P1.42 billion representing damages and accumulated rentals the developer paid to BCDA since 1996 after the rescission of the lease and subsequent revised agreements.

BCDA President and CEO Arnel Paciano D. Casanova welcomed the move but at the same time cautioned buyers, locators and sub-lessees in Camp John Hay not to be misled by the Sobrepeña-led CJHDevCo which is trying to avoid their liability to them.

He advised them to seek legal counsel to ensure that their rights and interests will be protected after the developer shall have turned over the property to the government pursuant to the arbitration tribunal decision over the brewing conflict inside the former American military base.

“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 said.

Casanova said all buyers, sub-locators, hotel unit owners and sub-lessees should not believe that they are not affected by the recent decision of the PDRCI.

According to Casanova, under the recent decision of the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center Inc. (PDRCI), the BCDA is ordered to return to CJHDevCo the amount of P1.42-B which the CJHDevCo paid to the BCDA as lease payments.

“Simply put, CJHDevCo will be refunded the entire amount it paid to the BCDA but there seems to be no action on the side of CJHDevCo to refund the buyers and sub-lessees,” Casanova said.

The other decision of the PRDCI is for CJHDevCo “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.”

Casanova urged the buyers, sub-locators, hotel unit owners and sub-lessees 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.

CJHDevCo is owned and managed by Fil-Estate Corporation, chaired by Robert John Sobrepena, 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).

Earlier, CJHDevCo contended the locators and sub-lessess are not covered by the PDRCI decision because third parties are considered to be buyers in good faith, thus, BCDA stands to respect the arbitral tribunal decision in order to spare third parties from being driven away from the premises of the John Hay Special Economic Zone covering around 247 hectares of the forest reservation.