BCDA files estafa complaint vs CJHDevCo

Posted at 08/31/12 7:12 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The  Bases  Conversion  and  Development  Authority  (BCDA) filed an estafa complaint against the  board  of directors and officials of Camp John Hay Development  Corporation  (CJHDevCo)  before the Department of Justice for  "conspiring  with one another to perpetuate fraud" against the BCDA.
BCDA  president  Arnel  Casanova questioned CJHDevCo's claims of losses, while it was also declaring dividends to its stakeholders.

"How  can  they  claim  losses  during  those  years  while  they have been declaring dividends?" Casanova said, in a statement.

The  39-page  complaint  charged  the  1998-2000  CJHDevCo board  of directors  and officials led by chairman Robert John L. Sobrepeña of deceiving the  BCDA,   through  false  pretenses  and fraudulent acts, into deferring collection  of CJHDevCo's outstanding rental obligations, which has  caused damage  to  BCDA and the government.   

In its complaint, the BCDA said under  the  terms of the 1996 Lease Agreement,  CJH DevCo was supposed to pay an annual rent of P425 Million or 5% of gross revenues  for the first five years of the lease, whichever was higher.

It noted that for the years 1998, 1999, and 2000, the government was supposed to receive P1.275 billion in rentals.

The complaint alleged CJHDevCo  misrepresented the state of its finances  to  BCDA and misled it, saying that  CJHDevCo  was  not financially capable of paying the annual rentals.

While in  1998,  Sobrepeña  claimed  that CJHDevCo's  operations  were  "financially  adversely  affected", the company had declared cash dividends totalling P928 million in the years 1998, 1999, and 2000. 

"The declaration of  dividends is inconsistent with and belies CJH DevCo's claim that it was financially  incapable  of  paying P1.275 billion in rentals for those same years," the complaint stated.

Last  August 15, the BCDA filed before the Department of Justice 52  counts  of malversation against the Board of Directors and officials of CJHDevCo and its subsidiary, Camp John Hay Hotel Corporation.