Baguio court injunction keeps BCDA in tight leash


A local court in Baguio City has maintained the injunction against the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) after favoring the petition filed by Camp John Hay Development Corporation (CJHDevCo).

Presiding Judge Cecilia Corazon Dulay-Archog of Baguio City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 6 denied the agency’s second attempt to have the “writ of injunction” declared dissolved.

In an order, the court “noted” the compliance by CJHDevCo in filing its renewal of more than P736-million injunction bond with the court on September 16 thus, the injunction remains in “full force and effect.”

This means that the Court’s earlier injunction order against BCDA, which prohibited it from any manner of forceful takeover and any form of dispossession, remains in full force.

The Regional Trial Court of Baguio on August 23, 2012, issued a ‘’Writ of Preliminary Injunction’ in favor of CJHDevCo, the developer of the 247-hectare rest and recreation site in Baguio City.

While the case is pending, the court also restrained BCDA and other third parties from committing any act tending to wrest control of the 247-leased property in the John Hay Special Economic Zone under CJHDevCo.

This also includes the “forceful occupation and or ejectment from the leased premises and or, prohibited from awarding of the rights in the leased property to any new entity for the duration of the instant case and/or unless a contrary court order is issued by this Court.”

This means that CJHDevCo is the only entity legally entitled to the use, possession, and enjoyment of the leased premises and everything within it.

Any negative media releases or announcements by BCDA stating otherwise is a violation of the Court’s Order and is prohibited (under pain of contempt).

The injunction, however, came with a P736-million bond requirement, fulfilled by CJHDevCo and renewed this September through First Integrated Bonding and Insurance Co., a Supreme Court-accredited agency. The original bond was issued by Liberty Insurance Corp.

An ongoing arbitration proceeding with the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center Inc. (PDRCI), filed by CJHDevCo against the BCDA aims to address the breaches of the BCDA and to settle issues regarding a Restructuring Memorandum of Agreement signed in July 2008 (2008 RMOA) stemming from BCDA violations.

BCDA had initially refused to submit to arbitration until compelled by a court order in October 2012.

According to a senior CJHDevCo official, since 1996 the firm has invested over P2.6
billion in developmental expenses for Camp John Hay, on top of over P1.5 billion in lease rentals it has paid to BCDA.

This actually represents 40 percent of the lease payments due while BCDA has only given permits to 20 percent of the developable land inside the leased area to CJHDevCo.

“Based on this, CJHDevCo has actually ‘overpaid’ its rentals to the BCDA, therefore, there is huge a mismatch here,” the official added.
Ritchie A. Horario


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