Rey E. Requejo, Florante S. Solmerin | April 26, 2015
Locators and lessees in Camp John Hay may file a case against the Bases Conversion and Development Authority if they are forcibly evicted from the property by the government agency.
The locators are protected under law as they have made their investments in good faith, Camp John Hay Development Corp. executive vice president Alfredo Yñiguez III said on Saturday.
“It is possible for these investors to sue the BCDA if they are evicted since they are protected under the law and governed by the law of contracts and obligations,” Yñiguez said.
The property developer said the writ of execution and the notice to vacate issued by Baguio regional trial court Judge Cecilia Archog specifically stated that BCDA must first pay P1.42 billion it owes CJHDevCo.
Yñiguez said the payments made by the third party locators and lessees were in fact credited in the Final Award as BCDA’s payment for the interest it owed.
“These locators are considered vested rights holders and were buyers in good faith,” he said.
CJHDevCo lawyer Gilbert Reyes stressed that it was actually BCDA that benefited from the payments made by the various investors in Camp John Hay.
“BCDA used the investors’ hard-earned investments to discharge its obligation to pay interest to CJHDevCo. It, therefore, does not require too much imagination to see why it is plainly wrong for the BCDA to accept the benefit of using the investment of third parties to pay for its debt and in the same vein deny these investors the right to enjoy their investment,” he said.
“That would be unashamed, unjust enrichment by the BCDA who not insists on having its cake and eating it too. Thus, if the BCDA insists on evicting the 1,600 plus investors in Camp John Hay, each and every investor may sue to enjoin their illegal eviction by the BCDA,” Reyes added.
Yñiguez said CJHDevCo has set up help desks for the locators who are being threatened by BCDA.
“We have a customer information lounge in Camp John Hay and also another in our office in Pasig City,” he added.
Judge Archog has made it clear in her order that the writ of execution must be implemented simultaneously, meaning that the Final Award rendered in the arbitration between CJHDevCo and BCDA is “reciprocal in nature.”
“The judgment obligations are essentially, as termed in the vernacular, ‘kaliwaan.’ CJHDevCo vacates as and when it is paid by the BCDA in full,” Yñiguez said.
The court order also said that in the event that developer fulfills its part but BCDA fails on its end, CJHDevCo may levy on properties of BCDA to satisfy the arbitral award.
“If ... respondent (BCDA) cannot return all or part of the obligation, in cash, certified bank check or other mode of payment acceptable to the petitioner (CJHDevCo), you (the sheriff) shall levy upon the properties of respondent (BCDA) of every kind and nature whatsoever which may be disposed of for value and not otherwise exempt from execution,” Judge Archog said.
Yñiguez stressed that CJHDevCo is “ready, willing and able to vacate the ‘leased premises’ immediately or simultaneous with its actual receipt of payment from BCDA” of the P1.42 billion.
“We also wish to emphasize that the Notice to Vacate IS NOT directed at persons who acquired rights in ‘good faith’ such as the CJH golf club members, Manor & Forest Lodge condotel unit owners, Forest Cabin unit owners, Country Home owners, Log Home Owners, lot owners, residents, locators and investors. These persons acted in ‘good faith’, and invested in Camp John Hay by purchasing your property with the consent and knowledge, if not the inducement, of the BCDA,” Yñiguez said.