May Anne Cacdac | Sun Star | May 3, 2015
THE chairman of Camp John Hay Development Corporation lashed out at the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) for issuing eviction notices to property sub-lessees at Camp John Hay.
"I do not understand why you (BCDA) are fighting your own citizens to get back at a private entity which you lost to," John Robert Sobrepeña said.
Sobrepeña, who rushed to Baguio City following reports that the BCDA had issued the notices to vacate, said the lessees shelled out hard earned money to acquire prime properties in the former US military base.
"This is contradictory to the nature of what government must be doing, which is to protect its citizens," he said.
"Our sub-lessees were never a party to the arbitration. And they were never mentioned in the writ of execution," Sobrepeña said.
"Our vested rights holders are also outraged at having seen their names in a print ad published by the BCDA in a national daily, detailing their stakes in the camp. This is a clear violation of their right to privacy," Sobrepeña added.
In a letter to the lessees, CJHDevCo EVP and chief operations officer Alfred Yñiguez III made clear that the notice to vacate is only directed at the developer, its employees, security personnel and subsidiaries.
The notice to vacate "is NOT directed at persons who acquired rights in 'good faith' such as the CJH golf club members, Manor and Forest Lodge condotel unit owners, Forest Cabin unit owners, Country home owners, Log Home owners, lot owners, residents, locators and investors," Yñiquez wrote.
He said the money paid by these third parties was "credited in the Final Award as BCDA's payment for the interest it owed to CJHDevCo on the rentals [BCDA] was ordered to return to CJHDevCo. All these third parties, such as yourself, therefore claim rights to remain in Camp John Hay in their own right and from the BCDA's acceptance of the benefit from their payments for the properties they purchased in Camp John Hay which the BCDA must respect," he added.
"By insisting on evicting the 1,631 third party investors in CJH, the BCDA is clearly guilty of unashamed, unjust enrichment. Fundamental fairness dictates that a government entity such as the BCDA, having accepted the benefit under the Arbitral Award to pay for its obligation using the hard-earned investment of CJH investors, must then respect the vested rights of all CJH third party investors," the CJHDevCo said in an earlier press statement.
Sobrepeña said his company plans to seek a court ruling on the fate of the sub-lessees.