Senate starts probe on condo 'photobombing' Rizal monument
Louis Bacani (The Philippine Star) - August 27, 2014 - 9:13am

MANILA, Philippines - After the allegedly overpriced carpark building in Makati, the Senate is set to begin today its investigation into another controversial building - the 46-storey condominium Torre de Manila.

The Senate committee on education, arts and culture chaired by Senator Pia Cayetano will lead a joint on-site inquiry in aid of legislation to determine if national laws and policies were violated in the construction of the building right across Rizal Park.

An online petition on advocacy website change.org and several netizens have called the high-rise structure "Terror de Manila" and "Pambansang Photobomb," criticizing it for ruining the iconic sight line of the national hero's monument.

In November 2013, the Manila City Council unanimously voted to suspend the building permit of developer DMCI Homes for Torre de Manila, reportedly for violating local zoning rules and in response to the opposition of concerned citizens and heritage conservationists.

On January 24, however, the Manila Zoning Board of Adjustments and Appeals reconsidered the suspension after DMCI Homes appealed for an exemption to local zoning laws.

According to the tower's construction update on the DMCI Homes website, Torre de Manila is already 19 floors high as of August 20.

Among those invited to the hearing are national government officials, experts and other personalities including Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II, Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson, Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez, and the heads of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, National Commission for Culture and the Arts and the National Parks Development Committee.

Also invited are Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno, Cultural activist Carlos Celdran and DMCI Homes Chairperson Isidro Consunji.

The on-site inquiry in Rizal Park will start at 10:00 a.m. with an ocular inspection of the sight line of the Rizal Monument.

CARLOS CELDRAN CULTURE AND THE ARTS AND THE NATIONAL PARKS DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE HOMES CHAIRPERSON ISIDRO CONSUNJI IN NOVEMBER INTERIOR SECRETARY MANUEL ROXAS MANILA MANILA CITY COUNCIL MANILA VICE MAYOR ISKO MORENO MANILA ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENTS AND APPEALS NATIONAL COMMISSION RIZAL PARK
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