Solgen declaring BuCor, Tadeco deal as void is ‘premature’
A government lawyer’s statement calling the Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) between the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) and the Tagum Agricultural Development Company, Inc. (Tadeco) as void is premature, Tadeco said in a statement.
Solicitor-General Jose Calida, the lead government lawyer, last week said the 25-year old JVA should be voided because it is illegal.
In a statement, Tadeco said the review being conducted by the Department of Justice (DOJ) is still on-going while Congress has yet to start its inquiry.
“Furthermore, there is no case filed before the courts on the cancellation of the said JVA. Only the courts of law can declare that a contract is void. This is a clear case of prejudging our JVA. Where is the fairness? Perhaps the intent is to condition the minds of the public and pre-empt the review of Department of Justice as well as the House probe,” the statement read.
“Our JVA has withstood the test of time and multiple reviews by Secretaries of Justice and several congressional investigations over so many years. All of them have found our JVA to be valid and beneficial to the BuCor and the Republic of the Philippines,” Tadeco said, adding that they are prepared to answer all issues “in the proper time and proper forum.”
Calida earlier said that the JVA over the 5,212.16 land inside the Davao Penal Colony (DAPECOL) violates not only the Public Land Act but the Constitution which only allows private corporations to hold lands of the public domain through lease for a total period not exceeding 50 years.
In this case, however, he said that the deal was signed in 1969, extended for 10 years after 25 years and extended again for another 25 years in 2003.
“Tadeco’s use and occupation of the Dapecol lands should cease by 2019. The JVA cannot be allowed to last until 2029,” he explained.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre has promised to release a legal opinion on the matter. JE/rga
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