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It’s Casanova disturbing peace at Camp John Hay

/ 12:02 AM April 11, 2015

This is to clarify the misleading news item “Sobrepeña firm faces suit on John Hay row” (Business, 4/6/15).

The report, written by Amy Remo, has as its sole basis the words of Bases Conversion and Development Authority’s Arnel Casanova, without getting the side of the “Sobrepeña firm” (Camp John Hay Development Corp. or CJHDevCo) or the side of the locators and lessees themselves who have blatantly objected to Casanova’s harassment and unwarranted threats of eviction.

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The fact is, an arbitration court had ruled earlier this year that the BCDA breached its contract with CJHDevCo when the former failed to honor its commitments under the contract; the BCDA was thus ordered by the court to pay P1.4 billion to CJHDevCo.

The same arbitration court held that Casanova’s allegations that Sobrepeña owes the BCDA P3.3 billion (the same allegation on which Casanova based an estafa suit against Sobrepeña, a suit that has been dismissed) were without basis.

Instead of following the instructions of the arbitration court and paying CJHDevCo what it owes, Casanova has been harassing locators and lessees by coercing them to cede the BCDA rights (that they obviously do not have) by signing a Deed of Assignment for the purpose. In fact, some lessees have sought Baguio Mayor Mauricio Domogan’s intervention after Casanova threatened them with eviction should they not sign the “Deed of Assignment” which effectively says that (1) locators and lessees have no right to stay there; (2) locators and lessees have no right to sue the BCDA; (3) locators and lessees agree to future terms not specified; and (4) locators and lessees must agree in advance to sign any affidavit against CJHDevCo and testify against it in any court, the contents of affidavits unknown to them. Locators and lessees refused to sign the document.

Lawyers surmise that Casanova is doing this desperate measure of rousing locators and lessees to lay claim to the P1.4 billion rentals that the BCDA is supposed to pay back to CJHDevCo in order to evade its obligation under the arbitration decision.

Instead of agitating locators and lessees, the BCDA must leave them in peace; the BCDA is bound to respect the rights of third party locators, even after the rescission of the contract between CJHDevCo and the BCDA. The BCDA has no right to evict any of the locators or lessees, much less to threaten them, as existing contracts must be honored.

For some reason, Casanova is the one who is so intent on disturbing the peace in Camp John Hay, and the locators and lessees are tired of his acts. It must also be noted that the Baguio Regional Trial Court has issued an injunction order restraining Casanova from taking over Camp John Hay.

—ALFREDO R. YÑIGUEZ,

executive vice president,

Camp John Hay Development Corp.

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TAGS: Bases Conversion and Development Authority, Camp John Hay Development Corp., corporate row, letters
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