February 13, 2015
We are pleased and happy with the decision of the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center, Inc.. We feel vindicated by the Arbitration Tribunal in upholding our position that CJH Development Corporation does not owe any P3.3 billion back rentals to the .Bases Conversion and Development Authority. Instead, it was the finding of the Tribunal that it is BCDA which now owes us, CJHDEVCO, P1.42 billion as reimbursement for all our rental payments since 1996.
We are happy with the decision and we are awaiting our lawyers’ advise on its implementation. It has always been our position that the trees in John Hay are the Camp’s most treasured assets. The pine trees are what has set John Hay unique among other destinations. The presence of these trees posed the greatest challenge to our development plans as we believed these trees should not be cut. As a result, in our resolve to not cut the trees, our development footprint had been substantially reduced and so we had prayed to the Arbitral Panel that the lease contract with BCDA be reformed to reflect a reduced developable footprint and if this were not possible, then a rescission of the lease contract with damages paid to us, instead.
The Arbitral Panel has granted our prayer in the latter respect. It ordered the rescission of the lease contract and BCDA to pay us P1.42 billion as reimbursement of our lease payments.
We hope when we turn-over the Camp to BCDA after the Pl.42 billion award is paid to us, BCDA will take care of the 480,000 trees we will leave behind. When we took over the Camp in 1996, there were 250,000 trees in the Camp. During our stewardship of the Camp, we planted 230,000 more trees. Thus, we eventually turnover Camp John Hay to BCDA, the temp would be in perfect environmental condition.
We hope that BCDA will continue CJHDEVCO’s vision for Camp John Hay to be the leading eco-tourism destination in North Luzon and continue with the development of the Camp with the protection of the trees and the environment in mind.
We assure our buyers, locators and sub-lessees that their rights to the properties they acquired and are now using in John Hay will continue to be protected and respected.
ROBERT JOHN L. SOBREPENA