By BusinessMirror – February 14, 2015
THE Camp John Hay Development Corp. (CJHDevCo) on Saturday assured subleases and sub-locators at Camp John Hay that the rights and interests would be protected and respected.
“Rest assured that the rights and interests of subleases and sub-locators in Camp John Hay will continue to be respected and protected. The BCDA [Bases Conversion and Development Authority] consented to all subleases within the camp when it expressly gave, in the lease agreement itself, CJHDevCo the right to sublease various areas and real-estate inventory therein,” CJHDevCo Chairman Robert Sobrepeña said.
While the lawyers of CJHDevCo are currently studying legal options, Sobrepeña noted that the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center Inc. (PDRCI) has found the BCDA to be in breach and CJHDevCo was absolved of liability for the supposed back rentals.
“We are pleased that the arbitral tribunal dismissed the BCDA’s claim for back rentals which we have always maintained were never due,” Sobrepeña said.
“We are also grateful that the substantial rentals the company paid in the course of over more than a decade were ordered returned to CJHDevCo. But we would like to emphasize that we sought for arbitration,” he added.
In the meantime, Sobrepeña said, neither party can implement the award, without an order confirming the same and a writ of execution being issued by the court.
“Please note that the writ of preliminary injunction enjoining the BCDA from taking over Camp John Hay remains in full force and effect unless the court orders otherwise,” Sobrepeña pointed out.
“We trust that, even with the issuance of the award, the parties will act in good faith and with due regard for the rights and interests of innocent third parties who are not involved in the dispute between CJHDevCo and the BCDA,” he added.
In its 274-page Final Award dated February 11, 2015, the three-man PDRCI also declared CJHDevCo as “not liable for any unpaid back rent” after it found both the BCDA and CJHDevCo of mutually committing breach of their contractual obligations, in connection with the development of the Camp John Hay in Baguio City
“The claimant [CJHDevCo] is ordered to vacate the leased premises and promptly deliver the leased property, inclusive of all new constructions including permanent improvements introduced during the term of the lease as reckoned from the execution of the original lease agreement, to respondent in good and tenantable condition in all respects, reasonable wear and tear excepted,” the arbitral decision added.
“The respondent [BCDA] is ordered to return to claimant [CJHDevCo] the total amount of rentals claimant has paid in the total amount of P1,421,096,052,” the PDRCI said, adding, “claimant is hereby declared as not liable for any unpaid back rent consistent with the ruling that rescission and mutual restitution is proper in this case.”