CA asked to help protect John Hay tenants
THE CAMP John Hay Development Corp. (CJHDevco) has urged the Court of Appeals (CA) to protect the interest of more than 1,600 third party investors inside the 247-hectare former American recreational facility in Baguio City.
During a hearing of the CA’s special fifth division on a petition to stop the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) from evicting tenants in John Hay, CJHDevco lawyer Gilbert Reyes argued that the final arbitration award issued by the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center Inc. (PDRCI) is binding only between the BCDA and CJHDevco and not on the tenants.
In a statement, Reyes said CJHDevco, the developer of John Hay, is ready to comply with the order to vacate the area in exchange for P1.42 billion from BCDA provided that the rights of tenants are respected.
“There is no dispute that all the third parties are in good faith,” Reyes said at the hearing presided over by Associate Justice Noel Tijam.
“They have valid contracts that should be respected,” the lawyer said.
Associate Justices Myra Garcia-Fernandez and Victoria Isabel Paredes were also present during the proceedings.
The CJHDevco lawyer said under the original lease agreement it signed with BCDA in 1996 for the purpose of developing Camp John Hay into a wholesome family-oriented public tourism complex, CJHDevco has been authorized to sub-lease its properties.
Reyes said the demand of BCDA for tenants to vacate the premises prior to the payment of the arbitral award violates the decision of the arbitration panel.
“It was not there, it was not intended, it was not contemplated in the arbitration panel’s decision,” Reyes said.
He said the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction is warranted to avoid irreparable damage to third party investors who have invested their money in good faith.
The CJHDevco also raised the possibility of more suits being filed in connection with the dispute if its prayer for a writ of injunction is not granted.
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