Monday, March 23, 2015

The uncertainties and losses, the primetime drama, the arrogant behavior of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) President Arnel Casanova against Camp John Hay Development Corporation (CJH Dev Co) formed indefinite solutions which cannot obtain in peaceful endorsement but creating another legal milestone to be created until the end.

Some of the reasons why these uncertainties were happening at Camp John Hay:

The BCDA President warned the Camp John Hay sub-lessees, sub-locators and buyers to seek legal counsel so they don’t end up holding “worthless pieces of paper similar to what happened at the College Assurance Plan (CAP)”. The SobrepeƱas also own CAP, which defaulted on its obligations to pre-need plan holders.

The BCDA President cannot actually move on from being an arrogant person but his new propaganda for Camp John Hay really made all sub-lessees, sub-locators and buyers turned their heads in disappointments.

The Camp John Hay Development Corporation (CJHDevCo) accused the State-owned Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) of bullying for taking its wrath in inciting third parties into filing cases against them after having lost the arbitration case with the Makati-based Philippine Dispute Resolution Center, Inc. (PDRCI) over the long standing dispute on the lease of the former American military base.

Instead of supporting and promoting business and development for the citizens, BCDA’s hell-bent act of using sub-locators and sub-lessees of the economic zone has already become destructive and counterproductive which is now hurting Baguio City being the host of the former American rest and recreation area where local residents are supposed to benefit from the employment opportunities to be created and the overall impact of the development to the growing local economy.

The instability of contracts and agreements being entered into by government through the BCDA makes the primary purpose of the public private partnership (PPP) doubtful in the sense that there are no bad projects but what are existent are bad government proponents and bad investors.
When CJHDevCo inherited the project from Manuela, they were not fully informed that there was already a pending case before the Supreme Court (SC) that sought to invalidate the lease agreement until it resulted to the forfeiture of the corporation’s economic zone benefits in 2003.

BCDA was not able to deliver its commitments in the initial years of the lease agreement, specifically the delayed issuance of the environmental compliance certificate (ECC) for CJHDevCo’s projects, the full delivery of the developable areas among others. Business problems can be solved through sitting down with them to talk about the issues and concerns and devised solutions for the greater interest of the people. The BCDA administration now has become destructive and counterproductive which is now causing confusion inside the facility.

CJHDevCo challenged BCDA to accept the decision of the arbitral tribunal to pay them the amount of P1.42 billion representing damages and accumulated lease rentals it paid to the government since 1996 and they will turn over the property to the government as mandated under the ordering order to allow John Hay to serve its real purpose as an engine of growth in the city. They asserted sub-locators and sub-lessees are not parties to the arbitration case that is why they are not covered by the outcome of the case considering that BCDA consented to the Leasehold Warranty Deeds (LWDs) it had been issuing to interested locators over the past several years.

CJHDevCo will leave the property only after the issuance of the required judicial confirmation of the arbitral decision and the subsequent writ of execution after BCDA shall have paid to them the arbitral award of P1.42 billion. Prolonging the case would become counterproductive to the supposed purpose of the economic zone which is to enhance the overall growth and development of the city, thus, BCDA must already settle its obligation under the arbitral decision for them to subsequently turnover the property to the government.

The BCDA concluded that a judgement of eviction against a lessee affects his sub-lessee, even if the latter are not sued in the ejectment case because a sub-lessee can invoke no right superior to that of his sub-lessor, and the moment the latter is duly ousted from the premises, the former has no leg to stand on.

The BCDA must think it over and analyze the consequences of the sub-lessees stand when dealing them inside the Camp John Hay. Likewise, BCDA must immediately settle their obligations with the CJHDevCo, so that they can already turnover the property to the government to allow Camp John Hay to move on to the new developers. Making such problems with the businessmen can only cause another level of legal drama that could prolong and damage the Camp John Hay.

The fact remains that BCDA will not actually follow the tribunal decision in full, by squabbling for CJHDevCo’s sub-lessees, sub-locators and buyers. BCDA only wanted the Camp John Hay but not the investors.

Monday, March 2, 2015

As the days had passed after the Arbitration Tribunal released their decision; this case between the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) against Camp John Hay Development Corporation (CJH Dev Co) was elevating into more complications with the people concerned. Both parties were doing their share into the increasing legal implications.

It’s being learned that Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) was making an advanced strategies to divulge CJHDevCo’s fraudulent act for third parties investors inside the camp. The BCDA announced they must review the existing sublease contracts of the locators now that the said property has been turned over as a result of the ruling of the arbitral tribunal of the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center.

Businesses and locators in the Camp John Hay area, appear to be the real losers in legal battle of the two parties as the debate has now shifted to the validity of sub-lessees’ contracts.

But Chairman Robert John L. SobrepeƱa of CJHDevco, addressed to locators and businesses, the developer repudiated the claims of BCDA, and told locators their sublease contracts will be honoured and respected. CJHDevCo stand was making the BCDA to counter-act their stand with these investor contracts.

Mr. Arnel Casanova’s management-style and dealing with this case had caused much squabbling that made it look a personal vendetta. But even this case had been given a tribunal decision; still, the continuing legal battle remains the same. What other method of transition is applicable for this case, that both sides must conform to the court’s decision and the implementation?

Arnel Casanova had a negative effect on the Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program, which gets 50 percent of BCDA’s lease revenues under existing laws and has not significantly contributed to the modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

The significant terms for investors in doing business inside the camp are subjected to uncertainty of their contracts done by the CJHDevCo, which was found to be fraudulent in the eyes of BCDA.

BCDA repeatedly overstepped the MOA/RMOAs to its private partner’s detriment, while CJHDevCo continued to act in good faith all these years–in unequivocal support of the government’s public-private partnership program, paying P1.4 billion in rentals and investing some P5 billion in various CJH facilities and other projects. And, Arnel Casanova had done other misleading statements for his personal whims.

What matters most now, all concerned businessmen and locators are to meet BCDA lawyers for integrating the contracts and finding solutions for the good of the whole business circle. It’s been hard for the investors to assume that CJHDevCo still protect them until the end. BCDA has claimed the Camp John Hay and beginning to start by way of checking the business contract for each investor. The process of finding defect of the contract should not be used as a weapon, but a positive action that needs to be ironed-out.

More than any answer to these uncertainties may come handy by way of exchanging some final statement for the good of the development and the people of Baguio. It’s for BCDA to initiate good example for the investors because they need the investors inside the camp that could help tourism industry and offer employment.

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