SC asked to stop 'photobombing' tower near Luneta
Camille Diola (The Philippine Star) - September 12, 2014 - 5:50pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court on Friday was urged to prevent the construction of residential building Torre de Manila blocking the view of the Rizal Monument in Manila.

The Order of the Knights of Rizal, a fraternal organization honoring hero Jose Rizal, filed a petition seeking a temporary restraining order on the the construction of the condominium tower.

Torre de Manila is a 46-storey high-rise building by property developer DM Consunji Inc. (DMCI) 30 meters away from the edge of the Rizal Park, also known as Luneta Park. The two landmarks are separated only by Taft Avenue.

The petitioners argued that the construction project would "forever ruin the sightline of the Rizal Monument in Luneta Park" and "stick out like a sore thumb" by dwarfing surrounding buildings within a radius of 2 kilometers.

"The Torre De Manila building would loom at the back and overshadow the entire monument, whether up close or viewed from a distance ... Moreover, the importance of the landmark that is the monument will be devalued," the petition stated.

In social media, the building has been called names such as "Pambansang Photobomb" and "Terror de Manila."

The petitioners argued that the tower violates several laws on culture such as Republic Act 4846 or the Cultural Properties Preservation and Protection Act and Republic Act 10066 or the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009.

The petition also cites the 1987 Constitution in requiring the conservation and promotion of the Philippines' historical and cultural heritage.

It also called it a nuisance, which "annoys or offends the senses; or shocks, defies or disregards decency or morality" as stated under Article 694 of the Civil Code of the Philippines.

The group further argued that the project deprives the monument the attributes of light and view that bestow it with grandeur stripping away part of the ambiance that Filipinos have enjoyed for the past hundred years.

"It deserves to be abated summarily, even without need of judicial proceeding," the Order of the Knights of Rizal said.

The Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture started an investigation on the construction of the controversial tower in August as response to criticisms and calls for a boycott of DMCI.

ARTS AND CULTURE CIVIL CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES CONSUNJI INC CULTURAL PROPERTIES PRESERVATION AND PROTECTION ACT AND REPUBLIC ACT JOSE RIZAL LUNETA PARK MONUMENT ORDER OF THE KNIGHTS OF RIZAL RIZAL RIZAL MONUMENT
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