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NCCA orders halt in construction of Torre de Manila

A man shows the National Commission for Culture and the Arts's cease-and-desist order on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2014 against the construction of Torre de Manila (left) located behind the historical Rizal (Luneta) Park in the heart of Manila. Senate/P. Cayetano office

MANILA, Philippines — The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) on Tuesday issued a cease-and-desist order against the construction of a private condominium building believed to be ruining the landscape of Jose Rizal's monument in Manila.

NCCA Chair Felipe de Leon Jr. signed the order, directing law enforcement agencies to serve the mandate.

De Leon argued that the construction of the 49-storey building by development firm DMCI violates Republic Act 10066 protecting the physical integrity of heritage sites as well as the constitutional provision on the preservation of cultural landmarks.

"The construction of the condominium tower destroys or significantly alters the landscape of the Monument and the park," he said in the order.

The agency said that failure to comply with the order is a "criminal offense."

Sen. Pia Cayetano, who led the Senate investigation on the "photobombing" tower lauded the issuance of the order.

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"It's about time we take culture and heritage protection seriously," she said on her Facebook account.

RELATED: SC asked to stop 'photobombing' tower near Luneta

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