Court order vs BCDA takeover remains-A A +A
By JM Agreda
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
THE writ of preliminary injunction against the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) takeover of Camp John Hay Development Corporation's (CJHDevCo) leased properties stays.
The court held the decision issued last year by Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 6 affirming the right of developer CJHDevCo to continue its operations inside its leased area in Camp John Hay in Baguio City.
The recent order came after BCDA attempted to lift the injunction by questioning in court the credibility of Liberty Insurance Corporation, insurer of the injunction bond, whose P736 million bond was approved by the court.
The order came at the heels of the latest attempt of BCDA to lift the injunction by questioning the credibility of Liberty Insurance Corporation.
Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan recently advised CJHDevCo to seek an injunction order from the court to prevent a BCDA takeover and to preserve peace and order in Camp John Hay.
Domogan said the establishments of CJHDevCo inside Camp John Hay are important contributors to the tourism of Baguio City.
He also sent the Baguio City Police Office to patrol and maintain peace and order in the area.
Last year, the BCDA also attempted to takeover Camp John Hay and eject its lessee CJHDevco after allegedly amassing P3 billion in debt for lease rentals.
With the impending takeover last year, CJHDevco sought court protection and was issued a cease and desist order barring BCDA to make its move against the lessee.
Then Executive Judge Iluminada Cabato recognized that "grave and irreparable injury" would result if the BCDA continued with its plan to take over its establishments.
A writ of preliminary injunction was later issued by the RTC Branch 6, enjoining BCDA from claiming rights to the leased property, "including forceful occupation or ejectment [of CJHDevCo] from the leased premises and/or the award of the rights in the leased property to a new entity."
An injunction bond amounting to P736,328,465.50 was issued by Liberty Insurance Corp. and posted in August 2012 upon orders from the court.
BCDA attempted to question the financial standing and credibility of Liberty Insurance Corporation but this objection was rejected by the court.
RTC Branch 6 Judge Cecilia Corazon Dulay-Archog stressed Liberty Insurance Corporation is a duly accredited and authorized bonding company.
Judge Archog further held the injunction bond posted on August 23, 2012 was sufficient amounting to P736,328,465.50.
CJHDevCo spokesperson and lawyer Manuel Ubarra Jr. called on BCDA president and Chief Executive Officer lawyer Arnel Casanova "to stop employing government resources and taxpayers money in filing expensive cases and launching costly PR campaigns against CJHDevCo and its officers."
"As a political appointee of the president, he should help, instead of destroy, the relationship between government and its private partners," Ubarra said.
"Philippine tourism is at an all-time high. We hope to be able to move forward from these legal and media battles and focus instead on further improving Camp John Hay, and re-establish Baguio as the premiere tourist destination in the country," he added.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on February 12, 2013.