by Dexter A. Se
[ manilastandardtoday.com ] March 1, 2012
BAGUIO CITY — The Bases Conversion and Development Authority and the Camp John Hay Development Corp. have agreed to observe a status quo inside the 247-hectare John Hay Special Economic Zone until a local court rules on a pending petition for injunctive relief.
On open court last Monday, Judge Mona Lisa Teongso-Tabora of the Regional Trial Court Branch 7 issued an order which eased the tension inside the zone.
Lawyers Remegio Custudio, Eloisa Sicam and Kimberlie See of the Ongkiko Law office appeared for BCDA while counterparts Gilbert Raymond Reyes and Christian Mendoza of the Poblador Law office represented the Sobrepena-owned CJHDevCo.
Because of the status quo agreement, BCDA will not forcibly take over the 247-hectare zone while CJHDevCo remains leasee of the government property under a contract signed in October 1997 and the revised memorandum of agreement in 2008.
Baguio Mayor Mauricio Domogan said the legal controversy had delayed the release of the city’s 25 percent share from the annual rental out of payment made by the developer to BCDA, further stalling development projects.
“We hope that both parties will be able to amicably settle their differences so that the national and local governments will be able to get their long overdue share from the unpaid lease rentals,” he said.
BCDA has billed CJHDevCo P3.04 billion for lease rentals over the past 16 years.