BCDA to pursue CJHDevCo-A A +A
By JM Agreda
Friday, September 13, 2013
THE Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) is determined to pursue several cases against its lessee Camp John Hay Development Corporation (CJHDevCo).
This was stressed by BCDA president Arnel Casanova after the Department of Justice dismissed 50 counts of malversation cases the government run corporation filed against the CJHDevCo.
Casanova, in an interview Monday evening, stressed there are the remaining two counts now in court which is why several CJHDevCo's top officials were arraigned last month.
Among those already arraigned in court and plead "not guilty" for malversation raps were CJHDevCo chairman Robert Sobrepeña, CJHDevCo president Ferdinand Santos along with vice president and chief Operating officer Alfredo Yñiguez III and chief Finance officer Emily Roces-Falco for allegedly refusing to return 26 BCDA-owned hotel units located in Camp John Hay Manor and Camp John Hay Suites (now Forest Lodge) while allegedly continuing to earn from these units.
"Malinaw doon sa nakita ng DOJ na may probable cause ng malversation in two instances na dapat nilang ibinigay sa BCDA ang shares. Actually, inamin nila na ginamit nila ang pera sa ibang pamamaraan. Iyon ay public funds kasi pera yun ng BCDA," Casanova said.
The BCDA president stressed their move is a testimony to good governance citing government funds were allegedly used for "other purposes" considering the CJHDevCo supposedly owes them P3.2 billion.
The CJHDevCo officials already posted bail while a schedule of hearings will be issued by Baguio Regional Trial Court branch 6 presiding Judge Cecilia Archog.
Casanova also revealed Liberty Insurance Corporation, which posted the bond on behalf of the CJHDevCO, has allegedly backed out paving way for a court injunction.
The cases they are pursuing, he added, is not just a legal battle stressing these have impact on Baguio’s residents as more than P750 million of the uncollected revenue belongs to the local government.
“This is a huge and game-changing amount which can be used to fund infrastructure, develop livelihood and medical programs, improve Baguio’s tourist sites, and other initiatives,” he added.
He stressed BCDA will abide by the arbitration under the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center but is firm on collecting CJHDevCo’s unpaid obligations and finally give Baguio’s shares from Camp John Hay.
"We are committed to respecting the arbitration process and we have prepared all our documents and evidence as we remain optimistic of our victory in these cases," he said.
The arbitration proceedings are expected to wrap-up by January 2014.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on September 14, 2013.