Written by Benjamin B. Pulta  | The Daily Tribune | Monday, 17 November 2014

Camp John Hay developer CJH Development Corp. (CJHDEVCO) yesterday decried as misleading the recent barrage of press releases by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) claiming victory in a case before the Court of Appeals (CA) which supposedly clears the way for BCDA to take over the former American rest and recreation facility in Baguio City.

“BCDA is employing dirty tactics by selectively quoting portions of the CA decision which states BCDA’s legal argument before the said court while DELIBERATELY OMITTING to state that the Court of Appeals, despite BCDA’s arguments, ordered BCDA nevertheless to respect the arbitration process for resolution of the dispute with BCDA over the Camp,” said CJHDEVCO EVP and chief operating officer Alfredo Yniguez.

“Had BCDA been truthful with the public about the CA case, BCDA would have also announced in the notices the following portions of the CA ruling, which stated that: “Finally, the records of the case reveal that the factual allegations of the parties already refer to the merits of the controversy between them, which is the alleged breach of their RMoA (Restructuring Memorandum of Agreement). These issues are best threshed out in the appropriate arbitration proceedings.”

“It bears emphasis that the parties in this case have been directed to submit their controversy to arbitration, which due stress on the policy of the Supreme Court to encourage arbitration as an alternative method of dispute resolution for, as decided in Home Bankers Savings and Trust Company v. Court of Appeals and Far East Bank & Trust Co., Inc.17, that:
“Aside from unclogging judicial dockets, it also hastens solutions especially of commercial disputes. The court looks with favor upon such amicable arrangement and will only interfere with great reluctance to anticipate of nullify the action of the arbitrator,” Yniguez said, quoting pertinent portion of the appellate court’s decision.

Yniguez lamented that by deliberately omitting this relevant portion of the CA decision, “Casanova is pre-empting he Arbitral Tribunal and making his own conclusion about the outcome of the arbitration decision in complete disregard of the due process of law.”

“Mr. Casanova, as a lawyer himself, should know that he cannot unilaterally terminate a valid lease contract until the arbitration case is decided with finality and the court orders its termination. The CA did not issue such order of termination,” Yniguez stressed.

While the CA decision may have stated BCDA’s arguments as meritorious, the CA substantively resolved in favor CJHDEVCO’s argument for arbitration proceedings of the dispute.

“For this reason, BCDA’s public announcements that it is undertaking steps for a smooth transition of control over the Camp since an award in favor of

BCDA is an eventuality, is sheer wishful thinking by BCDA at this time and shows arrogance towards the Arbitral Tribunal,” the CJHDEVCO’s official said.

“We expect BCDA will observe and respect the legal process and restrain itself from any attempt of an illegal takeover of the camp, Yniguez added.