An Open Letter To President Aquino From The Investors At Camp John Hay Baguio
His Excellency Benigno C. Aquino III
President of the Philippines
Malacanang Palace, Manila
Dear Mr. President:
A VERY URGENT APPEAL FROM INVESTORS/CONDOMINIUM OWNERS/HOMEOWNERS IN CAMP JOHN HAY
We the Residents and Investors in Camp John Hay (CJH) have fully paid forour right to retain our properties until October 2046. We, in all good faith, responded to our Government's call to invest in its Baguio PPP project by the BCDA and its anointed private developer, CJHDevCo.
So that you may clearly know our current situation, we have enumerated each important point.
On April 25, 2015 we were embarrassed and shocked to read a full-page ad in the Philippine Star by the BCDA of a ‘NOTICE TO VACATE’ OUR FULLY PAID HOMES AND TURN THEM OVER TO THE BCDA WITHOUT ANY COMPENSATION OR DUE PROCESS.
We are not a party to the dispute between the BCDA and CJHDevCo, and, we have never been heard by any Court or Arbitration Tribunal. Yet, an office directly under yours, the BCDA, has publicly demanded that we, without due process, abandon our hard earned investments in CJH and turn them over without regard or respect for our investments.
The BCDA directly used our (the investors’) money as payment of their court-mandated, interest obligation to CJHDevCo.
HOW IS IT THAT WE ARE TO LOSE OUR HOMES SIMPLY BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT CJHDEVCO COULD NOT MAKE THEIR AGREEMENTS WITH EACH OTHER WORK.
The Arbitral Decision declares that because of the BCDA and CJHDevCo's mutual breach, both are deemed to be in good faith. Yet we the investing public who purchased in utmost good faith have become the only ones branded in "bad faith" and more so, the only penalized party?
We thus seek your intervention, Mr. President, in directing the BCDA to unconditionally honor the terms under which we invested in Camp John Hay and that the BCDA allow us to realize the benefits of our having answered the call for support of this premier PPP project in Baguio City.
There is precedent for this in Clark Air Base, where the BCDA ultimately respected the vested rights of the private investors in Mimosa.
The BCDA is insistent that CJHDevCo only has a 25-year lease and that they had duped us buyers by selling 50-year leases. The fact is that the Original Lease Agreement was for 25 years renewable for another 25 years at the sole option of the Developer under the same terms until 2046. he minutes of the pre-bid meeting confirms that the BCDA had enticed bidders by proclaiming that it was in reality, a 50-year lease.
The Baguio City Council has “19 Conditionalities” as per City Ordinance No. 362 series of 1994, which were approved and signed by the BCDA. Article 16 provides that “upon the expiration of the lease between the BCDA and the Developer, the ownership of Camp John Hay land and improvements would be transferred to the City of Baguio.” Yet despite the lease being legally terminated, the ownership of CJH still has not been transferred to the City of Baguio.
The BCDA made an offer to allow us to stay in our homes but is contingent on our signing an extremely unjust Deed of Assignment with the following ALARMING stipulations:
A. To give the BCDA an unconditional and irreversible ‘Power Of Attorney’ and a formal acknowledgment that we have NO LEGAL RIGHT TO STAY IN CJH nor can we take any action against the BCDA now or in the future.
B. To pre-agree that we will appear before any Court or Tribunal to testify against CJHDevCo and that we will sign any document that the BCDA deems fit, including the use of any statement or affidavit against CJHDevCo, with contents we know nothing about now.
C. Also sight unseen, we would have to pre-agree to any future terms and conditions that the BCDA may see fit.
Why are we being coerced to sign this Deed of Assignment as a precondition to our continued peaceful stay in our fully paid homes?
All 1,631 of us respectfully implore you to help us, Mr. President. The stress of being unlawfully evicted is very difficult to bare and is adversely affecting our physical and psychological well-being. The BCDA's intent to evict innocent CJH Investors sends a distressing message to all would-be investors in any of the government's premier PPP projects.
We know that you yourself would NEVER allow anyone to take your rightful home away. We are thus asking for your kind intervention on this unjust threat from the BCDA, which is behaving in a manner unbecoming of your good office.
Most respectfully yours,
CONCERNED HOMEOWNERS AND INVESTORS IN CAMP JOHN HAY