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Thursday, May 30, 2024

SC affirms trial court decision telling firm to vacate John Hay

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The Supreme Court (SC) has affirmed an arbitral ruling ordering CJH Development Corporation (CJH DevCo) to vacate a portion of the John Hay Special Economic Zone it leased from the Bases Conversion Development Authority.

In an en banc decision written by Associate Justice Japar Dimaampao, the SC granted the petition for review filed by BCDA assailing the rulings of the Court of Appeals which had reversed a Regional Trial Court’s (RTC) confirmation of the decision.

The SC ruled that without a showing that any of the grounds to modify the award exist or that the same amounts to a violation of an overriding public policy, the RTC was thus correct in confirming the Final Award.

On the contrary, the CA failed to abide by the rules of arbitration when it rendered its challenged rulings, the SC said.

 In requiring the BCDA to fulfill the conditions outside of the Final Award, the SC held that the appellate court made its own findings of fact and provided its own legal interpretation of the parties’ obligations, saying “this is clearly beyond the power of the CA.”

 Since the RTC did not commit grave abuse of discretion in issuing the order confirming the Final Award, the CA rulings modifying the Final Award are invalid, the SC ruled.

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