Thursday, August 16, 2012

Malversation raps filed vs Camp John Hay executives

..BAGUIO CITY -- The Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) filed Wednesday 52 counts of malversation charges against the board of directors of the Camp John Hay Development Corporation (CJHDevCo) for not returning properties and public funds amounting to P121 million. In a complaint filed before the Department of Justice, BCDA president and chief executive officer Arnel Casanova said the CJHDevCo and its subsidiary Camp John Hay Hotel Corp. (CJH Hotels) pocketed the earnings from 16 units of CJH Manor Hotel and 10 units of CJH Suites Hotel in Baguio City. Casanova said this should have been remitted to the government, being public properties. Casanova earlier demanded the return of these hotel units to the government, as he accused respondents of misappropriating and converting the funds for their own personal use and benefit to the prejudice of the government. “Certainly, the units subject of the dacion en pago should already have been in the coffers of the government and the benefits, in the form of revenues earned therefrom, should already have been fully utilized and appropriated by the government. This, however, was not the case with BCDA,” he said. Dacion en pago is a legal mode of extinguishing an obligation whereby the debtor transfers to the creditor a property for the satisfaction of monetary debt. Casanova said CJHDevCo has been “holding, managing, and operating” said units from 2008 to the present and have been profiting from it without giving a proper accounting and remittances to the BCDA. CJHDevCo has been the lessee over the BCDA-administered CJH Manor Hotel and Suites for 25 years, renewable for another 25 years, commencing on October 19, 1996. In 2008, CJHDevCo gave the title of the 26 hotel rooms to government as partial payment of its unpaid lease rentals amounting to P2.6 billion. BCDA claimed, however, that it never signed the leaseback agreement over the units as the term of the leaseback exceeded the term of CJHDEVCo’s lease over Camp John Hay, which is only for 25 years. Despite the absence the leaseback arrangement agreement, CJHDevCo did not withdraw the hotel room units from its regular operations. Instead, it retained the BCDA owned units in its roster of rooms in the Manor Hotel and Suites hotels and continued to offer them to the public as part of its accommodation facilities. Earlier, a complaint for perjury was filed by CJHDevCo against Casanova before the Office of the City Prosecutor in Manila. CJHDevCo said Casanova committed perjury when he wrongly accused its officials of using false pretenses to deceive and induced the agency to enter into a “dacion en pago” agreement on May 27, 2011, in order to settle its outstanding obligation with BCDA. (JCV/Sunnex) ..