BCDA prexy gets off the hook for perjury

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Friday, November 23, 2012

THE Manila City Prosecutor's Office dismissed the perjury case that Camp John Hay Development Corporation (CJHDevCo) filed against Bases Conversion Development Authority president Arnel Paciano Casanova.

This is the second complaint filed by CJHDevCo against BCDA executives that was dismissed, as it was as prematurely filed.

BCDA directors, together with Philippine Daily Inquirer editors, were also cleared of libel charges filed in connection with a BCDA-published Notice on CJHDevCo’s questionable business practices at the BCDA–administered John Hay Special Economic Zone last October.


In a two-page resolution, Assistant City Prosecutor Nelson Pagaduan held that the complaints filed against Casanova could not be acted upon because “the issue is still premature to resolve.”

Pagaduan noted the alleged lies attributed by the plaintiff to Casanova were rooted from a still unresolved estafa case filed by BCDA against CJHDevCo, lessee of the John Hay Special Economic Zone.

The estafa complaint originated from the double sale by CJHDevCo of a log home in Camp John Hay and still pending with the Department of Justice.

The prosecutor’s resolution further declared “[n]ot until the issue to complaint of double sale had been finally resolved, [can] the complaint of perjury … be acted upon.”

The BCDA president’s counter-affidavit, which was cited in the prosecutor’s resolution, reiterated the estafa complaint merely stated facts: that CJHDevCo did sell Loghome No. 9 twice; first in 1999 to Wilson Sy who paid P20 million as down payment to CJHDevCo, and then to BCDA by way of dacion en pago executed on May 27, 2010; and that Sy’s lawyer informed BCDA of the said first sale verbally and in writing in 2010.

Casanova said he welcomes the decision and views the dismissed perjury and libel cases filed against BCDA officials as futile attempts at distraction and harassment.

“The filing of these cases was obviously meant to distract and dissuade us from making the CJHDevCo accountable for its questionable acts in the John Hay Special Economic Zone,” Casanova said.

“It will take more than a harassment case to stop BCDA’s administration from protecting the interest of government in Camp John Hay.”

Since the filing of the case, CJHDevCo has continuously refused to pay the government its lease rentals now allegedly totaling P3 billion for occupying and operating Camp John Hay.

Meanwhile, Casanova also said they will submit to the arbitration process to be officiated by the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center, but added the arbitration is allegedly a means by the other party to delay the process of payment of the lease rentals.

The BCDA president believes the arbitration process will take up to six months after they submitted their nominees for arbitration.

“We will make the necessary actions in respect of the law, we will make the necessary actions when we get there,” Casanova said when asked what will happen if ever the process fails.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on November 24, 2012.

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