John Hay firm asks gov’t to respect CA decision
THE DEVELOPER of Camp John Hay scored the state firm Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) for questioning a recent ruling of the Court of Appeals (CA) preventing the forced eviction of more than 1,600 third party investors and the private developer from the 247-hectare former American recreational facility in Baguio City.
In a memorandum to all Camp John Hay locators and enterprises, Camp John Hay Development Corp. (CJHDevCo) executive vice president Alfredo Yñiguez III accused the BCDA of trying to mislead and confuse the public by assailing the court’s order.
“There is nothing irregular about the July 30 decision of the Court of Appeals,” said Yñiguez.
In a 67-page decision penned by Justice Noel Tijam, the court’s former Special Fifth Division granted the petition for certiorari and prohibition filed by CJHDevCo to stop Baguio City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 6 Judge Cecilia Corazon Dulay-Archog from implementing a writ evicting CJHDevCo and third party investors.
The appellate court, however, directed CJHDevCo to “promptly vacate and cease its operations on the leased premises upon payment of its claim” for reimbursement worth P1.4 billion.
The court added that CJHDevCo is barred from entering into new contracts in Camp John Hay.
Yñiguez said the court ruling upheld the position of CJHDevCo that all third parties are rights holders who acted in “good faith” when they entered into contracts with CJHDevCo.
“This clearly shows that third party residents and locators possess rights and cannot simply be evicted by the BCDA,” he said.
Yñiguez said what the court found irregular, amounting to grave abuse of discretion, are the enforcement of orders of eviction by Dulay-Archog, the ex-officio sheriff of Baguio City Linda Montes-Loloy and the sheriff of Baguio RTC-Branch 6 Bobby Galano.
Yñiguez also accused the BCDA of malice when it claimed that the lease agreement with CJHDevCo “was only for 25 years, subject to renewal for another 25 years and not an automatic 50 years.”
He said what BCDA failed to mention was that “renewal for another 25 years is at the sole option of CJHDevCo.”
“In fact, the BCDA itself accepted residential units, condotel units and golf shares from CJHDevCo with a term of 50 years, and further, resold one unit for a 75-year lease period,” Yñiguez said.
BCDA head Arnel Casanova had accused CJHDevco of “using the courts to delay” the development of Camp John Hay by the government.
“It is absurd and laughable. Firstly, Camp John Hay is a developed property because of CJHDevCo’s and third parties’ investment in the camp,” said Yñiguez.
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