Rimaliza A. Opina | Baguio Midland Courier | June 14, 2015
The Bases Conversion and Development Authority cannot turn its back on the 19 conditions set by the city council when Camp John Hay was bid out to a private developer.
Condition 16 of Resolution 362, which was passed in 1994, states if the contract between the BCDA and the developer ends, all improvements shall be turned over to the city government.
Recently, the BCDA terminated its contract with Camp John Hay Development Corporation. Mayor Mauricio Domogan also issued a statement saying the city government is prepared to take over CJH once the legal tussle between BCDA and CJHDevCo ends.
In a television interview, however, BCDA President Arnel Casanova said the leased area including the improvements shall continue to be under the BCDA.
City Legal Office Officer-in-Charge Melchor Carlos Rabanes said while the city government will not yet be taking over, the city’s stakes, which are contained in a document now called “19 conditions,” could not be set aside.
“The 19 conditions are valid and binding,” Rabanes said pointing out that this was even officially recognized by the BCDA when in its contract with the developer, it included the 19 conditions.
Rabanes said so far, only Casanova issued statements that appeared to disregard the 19 conditions. However, he said “the BCDA is estopped (from not honoring the conditions) because the 19 conditions have been honored in the past.”
He added, disregarding the 19 conditions is like defying the wishes of the people of Baguio for in it are the aspirations of a community that hosts one of the most tourist destinations in the country.
BCDA is also said to have defied conditions on segregation of lots and tapping of water sources within the reservation, not from an outside source.