by Julito G. Rada
[ manilastandardtoday.com ] December 28, 2011
STATE-RUN Bases Conversion and Development Authority asked Camp John Hay Development Corp. to pay immediately P2.6 billion in unpaid rentals instead of concealing its unsettled financial obligations with the government agency.
“Talking about compliance, it is CJHDevco that must comply with our series of demand letters for the settlement of its rental arrears that have been piling up over the past years,” Arnel Paciano Casanova, BCDA president and chief executive, said in a statement Tuesday.
“Last time we checked, it is the CJHDevco that owes BCDA P2.6 billion, and counting. So it [CJHDevco] has to either put up or shut up,” Casanova said.
Casanova shrugged off the demands of CJHDevco for BCDA to comply with certain contract.
“There is no point threatening us with suspension of payment, since CJHDevco has not been paying us in the first place,” Casanova said.
He said CJHDevco, controlled by businessman Robert John Sobrepeña, was “reincarnating the dead issues against the BCDA in a desperate attempt to evade paying its back rentals,” he said.
Earlier, CJHDevco urged the BCDA to comply with its obligations under an agreement signed between them in 2008. CJHDevco said it would continue suspending payment of rental obligations to BCDA unless it put up a one-stop action center that would facilitate CJHDevCo’s development of the John Hay Special Economic Zone.
The center will have full authority to process and issue all business, building and other developmental permits, certificates and licenses, local and national, from all government agencies to facilitate construction and commercial operation in Camp John Hay.
Casanova said BCDA would not allow itself to be drawn into an endless debate on the minor issues raised by CJHDevco. He said CJHDevco was a “delinquent lessee obviously throwing a smokescreen to conceal from public scrutiny its own unsettled financial obligations” arising from the lease contract on Camp John Hay in Baguio City.
Casanova also said CJHDevco had alienated itself from the people of Baguio, La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan and Tuba as well as stakeholders for deliberately holding back lease payments.