BCDA Slams CJHDevCo for Making Misleading Statements
April 11, 2015
The Final Award of the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center Inc. (PDRCI) which was confirmed by the Regional Trial Court in Baguio City is direct and unequivocal.
Attorney Peter Paul Andrew T. Flores, BCDA’s head for legal services said Sobrepeña-led CJHDevCo had been coming up with misleading statements when in truth and in fact, the court’s decision which confirmed the PDRCI Final Award is unconditional.
The award says that, “claimant (CJHDevCo) is ordered to vacate the leased premises and promptly deliver the leased property, inclusive of all new constructions and permanent improvements introduced during the term of the lease as reckoned from the execution of the Original Lease Agreement, to Respondent (BCDA) in good and tenantable condition in all respects, reasonable wear and tear excepted.”
Flores said that the PDRCI lifted this from the Original Lease Agreement between BCDA and CJHDevCo, which simply means that CJHDevCo must return the land and all the structures to the government free of encumbrances and occupants.
Flores said the key word here is “tenantable.” What he is saying, Flores clarified is the same as the content of the RTC’s decision dated March 27 saying “the Final Award is clear. It needs no further interpretation. Moreover this Court is not authorized to revise, interpret or in any way encroach upon the work of the Arbitral Tribunal…”
The Court, instead, ordered the following:
1. The confirmation of the Final Award in toto citing the PDRCI award verbatim;
2. The lifting and rescission of the injunction against BCDA that prevented it from exercising its contractual right to take over the property;
3. The Entry of Judgment that will prevent CJHDevCo from seeking a reconsideration or appeal from the case;
4. The issuance of a Writ of Execution.
Flores said CJHDevCo had been issuing misleading statements to the media, not only to mislead the reporters but specifically the sub-lessees who are directly affected in the case.
“As always, CJHDevCo’s statement is misleading. It is designed to confuse and to sow fear and uncertainty in the heart of their sub-lessees. CJHDevCo posits a slanted and self-serving interpretation of the Final Award of PDRCI.”
Adding, “they claim that the award obligates BCDA to retain the lessees in possession of their units. What it does not say is that CJHDevCo and its officers possess a considerable number of units.” Flores said that in the list of sub-lessees CJHDevCo submitted to the court, it shows that cabins and hotel units are either occupied or in the names of Messrs. Bob Sobrepena, William Russel Sobrepena, Alfredo Yniguez, Ferdinand Santos, Sean Bedi and other officers/cronies of CJHDevCo, as well as vacant/unoccupied units/lot pads in the names of CJHDevCo and its allied companies.
Flores said that the court in its decision rejected CJHDevCo’s submission to qualify the Final Award which reads “upon confirmation of the Final Award, the issuance of a writ of execution and the BCDA’s payment to CJHDevCo of P1,421,096,052.00, CJHDevCo will comply with its obligation.
As for the sub-lessees and or vested rights holders, the Court said that, “they will be governed by the law on obligations and contracts,” meaning, CJHDevCo is liable to the sub-lessees for damages that may be suffered by the sub-lessees from the non-performance of the CJHDevCo. Flores, quoting from the decision said that as the Supreme Court ruled in Guevara Realty Inc. versus Court of Appeals, G.R. No. L-57469, it held ”A judgment of eviction against a lessee affects his sub-lessee, even if the latter are not sued in the ejectment case. This is so, because a sub-lessee can invoke no right superior to that of his sub-lessor, and the moment the latter is duly ousted from the premises, the former has no leg to stand on. The sub-lessees’ right, if any is to demand reparation for damages from his sub-lessor, should the latter be at fault. The sub-lessees can only assert such right of possession as could have been granted them by their sub-lessor, their right of possession depending entirely upon that of the latter.”
Interpreting the decision, it simply means that CJHDevCo is liable to the sub-lessees for reneging on its obligation. Since the court said CJHDevCo should deliver the land and its improvements to BCDA, the sub-lessees has no better right to retain them, their right having come from CJHDevCo. It however has a recourse to go after CJHDevCo for damages under the law on obligations and contracts.
Flores said “It is unfortunate that CJHDevCo persists in its deception. Their offer to provide the sub-lessees with legal counsel is an act of desperation. They want to use the sub-lessees as a front to prolong the litigation by enjoining their eviction. They want to stay the execution of the Court Order as they continue to reap profits from the property.
He added, “in the coming days the sub-lessees will come to realize the truth when the Sheriff serves the writ. We can only hope that it will not be too late for them.”
Following the PDRCI’s decision in February, BCDA President and CEO Attorney Arnel D. Casanova has encouraged the sub-lessees to seek legal counsel so that their rights can be protected.
On the first week of April, a number of corporations have signed a Deed of Assignment for and in behalf of the BCDA, allowing the state owned corporation to help them in seeking protection of their rights against CJHDevCo./BCDA-PR