BCDA on John Hay feud: ‘What use of force?’Philippine Daily Inquirer
BAGUIO CITY—A security contractor of the government said it never imposed a “shoot-to-kill” order as claimed by the agency protecting the developer of Camp John Hay amid a contractual dispute that has been waged publicly since 2011.
Placido Urbanes III, head of Catalina Security Agency, said the firm was hired by the government to help protect personnel, property and facilities in Camp John Hay, but the job does not include imposing a shoot-to-kill order targeting personnel of Camp John Hay Development Corp. (CJHDevco).
A statement issued by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) said Catalina deploys personnel throughout the 625.4-hectare Camp John Hay reservation, including the 301.9-ha John Hay Special Economic Zone, administered by BCDA.
CJHDevco, which is owned and chaired by businessman Robert John Sobrepeña, had leased over 240 ha of built-up areas inside the zone in 1996, but the lease was terminated by BCDA on May 15 this year over unpaid debts.
A preliminary injunction issued by a Baguio City Regional Trial Court prevents BCDA from repossessing CJHDevco’s leased areas.
But in a May 17 news conference, lawyer Arnel Paciano Casanova, BCDA president, said the injunction could not be enforced until CJHDevco posts a P736-million performance bond.
Last week, CJHDevco’s Warbird Security and Investigation Agency wrote Urbanes to complain about reports of a security build up of Catalina, done supposedly to implement the takeover and with supposed instructions to shoot anyone who stands in the way of the takeover.
Catalina described Warbird’s allegations as “outrageous, alarmist and totally baseless.”
“We will take the necessary legal steps to make sure those who issued the irresponsible statement are made accountable,” Urbanes said in the BCDA statement.
Casanova said he issued CJHDevco a termination notice and eviction order on May 15 for the developer’s failure to pay P3.077 billion in outstanding rent.
He said the decision to end the lease was reached after CJHDevco tried to end the dispute with a new joint venture deal involving 18 ha of undeveloped Camp John Hay land.
Casanova said the agency was angered by the terms of the proposed deal, which extends CJHDevco’s lease contract from 2046 to 2061. Vincent Cabreza, Inquirer Northern Luzon