BAGUIO CITY – The management of the Camp John Hay Development Corporation (CJHDevCo0 asserted the over 1,631 locators and golf shareholders are equally protected by the law on obligation and contracts, especially in relation to their vested rights, as enshrined in the decision of the Makati-based Philippine Dispute Resolution Center, Inc. (PDRCI) and confirmed by the city’s Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 6.
Alfredo Yniguez, CJHDevCo executive vice president, said that should the State-owned Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) insist on including the locators and buyers in their bid for all individuals and groups to vacate the 247-hectare John Hay Special Economic Zone (JHSEZ), it is best for the affected buyers and locators to file the appropriate charges against the corporation for illegally trying to steal their investments.
He disclosed CJHDevCo has already established a help desk to advise the affected buyers and locators on the appropriate legal steps to undertake in order to compel BCDA not to illegally drive them away from the camp and render their investments as not entered in their books during their future takeover.
Under the PDRCI decision that was confirmed by the RTC, the vested rights holders payments represent the interest portion on the payment that BCDA was supposed to pay CJHDevCo in the amount of P1.42 billion in accumulated lease rentals.
“The buyers and locators are considered investors or third parties who dealt both with the CJHDevCo and BCDA in good faith,” the CJHDevCo official stressed.
It can be recalled that despite the BCDA’s posturing to the contrary, under the arbitral decision, both the BCDA and the CJHDevCo were found to be at fault and because of such breaches in their agreements that were described as ‘mutual fault,’ both parties were declared in good faith.
Earlier, the BCDA, in claiming itself not bound to respect the vested rights of third parties, had been branding the developer as having been in bad faith.
“by their logic, since the investors or third parties trace themselves to a party in bad faith, then BCDA too is in bad faith and that it also lost its rights which the BCDA can now ignore with impunity,” Yniguez added.
According to him, the fallacy in the BCDA’s position is therefore quite obvious and it is that no one is in bad faith and that everyone has been declared in good faith in the arbitral tribunal decision, including the investing public.
More importantly, under the arbitral decision confirmed by the court, the BCDA was held liable to the developer for interest on the P1.42 billion it was ordered to return to the company but the arbitral panel considered the obligation of the BCDA on interests as paid by the monies and benefits which the various investors of the economic zone paid to the developer for the right to enjoy their investments inside the former American military base until 20146.
He pointed out it was the BCDA who benefited from the investments paid by the various investors in John Hay and that the improvements introduced by CJHDevCo will be delivered to BCDA without the need to pay for the value thereof as required by law for builders in good faith, because the arbitral panel considered the same as payment to the BCDA of CJHDevCo’s obligation to pay reasonable rent for its occupancy of the former military base over the past 18 years.
“CJHDevCo discharged its obligation to pay reasonable rental to BCDA using its own property which are the improvements, BCDA used the investors hard earned investments to discharge its obligation to pay interest to CJHDevCo. It therefore does not require too much imagination to why it is plainly wrong for the BCDA to accept the benefit of using the investments of third parties to pay for its debt and in the same vein deny these investors the right to enjoy their investments and that would be unashamed, unjust enrichment by the BCDA who now insists on having its cake and eating too,” Yniguez said.