by Hanna C. Lacsamana
Mayor Mauricio Domogan considers the conflict at Camp John Hay as an embarrassment for tarnshing the image of the city and that of the country as an investment capital before the international community.
The mayor said in his weekly forum Thursday that he considers the temporary restraining order issued by the Court of Appeals against a court order for the John Hay developer to vacate the premises appropriate, as it would allow the issues to be completely ventilated and deliberated upon before the CA.
He added the TRO also gives reprieve to the sub-lessees who are not supposed to be included in the ruling of Philippine Dispute Resolution Center Inc. and the writ of execution issued by a Baguio court.
“If it (TRO) was not issued, sub-lessees and investors in John Hay will also be ordered to vacate despite the fact they are not parties to the case, which is embarrassing. It affects the Philippines’ image as an investment center,” the mayor said.
He said it is clear in the appealed decision of the PDRCI that the parties involved were the Bases Conversion Development Authority and Camp John Hay Development Corporation. It was also clear in the decision, among other things, for the developer to return the leased premises and its improvements to the government. There was no mention for the sub-lessees to also vacate.
Domogan said the investors, especially foreign retirees in John Hay, cannot be blamed for questioning the ruling and the writ.
“They said in their letter to the President that they are honest investors who used their hard earned money. They should not be made to suffer from the faults of the parties involved in the conflict,” he said.
Domogan added that BCDA’s gesture of approaching sub-lessees and asking them to sign a waiver of rights clearly shows that BCDA admits that the sub-lessees have rights that the government wants to surrender in its favor. “You can’t force the sub-lessees if they don’t want to waive it.”