BCDA appeals ‘irregular’ John Hay decision

State-run Bases Conversion and Development Authority urged the Supreme Court to protect the government interest after a “highly irregular” decision of the Court of Appeals reversing the order of the Arbitral Tribunal of the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center.

“The CA decision is highly irregular. We filed for certiorari in the Supreme Court,” BCDA president and chief executive Arnel Paciano Casanova said in a statement.

The arbitration body earlier ordered CJH Development Corp. to vacate Camp John Hay. CA Associate Justice Noel Tijam reversed the order and to hold the awarding of the property to the BCDA unless the agency returns to CJHDevCo the unused tenancy fee of P1.4 billion for pre-terminating the lease contract.

The BCDA, which was supposed to recover all new construction and permanent improvements as stated in the final award, will get nothing.

In the reversal order, the Court of Appeals also ruled that sub-lessees should not be evicted, contrary to the admission of Camp John Hay that its contractual relationship with the so-called “third parties” was a sublease.

Casanova said the decision was “grossly disadvantageous to the government.”

The agency said it was confident that the Court of Appeals decision would not succeed in the Supreme Court.

Casanova said if the Court of Appeal’s decision was enforced, the government would not benefit because the sub-lessees had already paid their lease to CJHDevCo until 2046.

The structures will be worthless by the time these are turned over to the BCDA in 2046 as the useable life of a building is only about 50 years, Cassanova said.

Earlier, the Baguio Regional Trial Court issued a decision on the final award to make the tribunal decision binding, executory and non-appealable, as well as a writ of execution.


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