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SC asked to stop Torre de Manila construction

Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - September 13, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Supreme Court (SC) was asked yesterday to stop the construction of the 46-story Torre de Manila condominium for reportedly ruining the iconic sight line of the monument of national hero Jose Rizal in Rizal Park. 

The Knights of Rizal, a group advocating the hero’s ideals, filed a petition with the high court seeking the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) to prevent developer DMCI Homes from proceeding with the project. 

The petitioners said there is a need to immediately issue the TRO, citing a completion update from DMCI showing that the project is now 22.93-percent complete and has already reached its 19th floor as of Aug. 20.

“When Torre de Manila reaches the full height of 46 floors by the target date of 2016, it will completely dominate the vista and, consequently, substantially diminish in scale and importance the most cherished monument to the national hero. It will have the same effect for the view of (Rizal) Park. And this will be for all eternity,” read the 26-page petition.

Aside from the issuance of a TRO, the group also asked the high tribunal to order the demolition of the building after hearing the case.

The petitioners alleged that by defacing the visual corridors of the monument, DMCI violated several laws mandating the protection and preservation of the Rizal Monument. 

These laws include Republic Act 4846 (Cultural Properties Preservation and Protection Act), RA 7356 (law creating the National Commission on Culture and the Arts) and RA 10066 (National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009 or an Act Providing for the Protection and Conservation of the National Cultural Heritage).

The petitioners also argued that the project could be considered as an act of nuisance under the Civil Code of the Philippines, which defines it as “any act, omission, establishment, condition of property, or anything else which annoys or offends the senses; or shocks, defies or disregards decency or morality.”

They also alleged the project violated Manila’s zoning ordinance, citing the DMCI legal counsel’s admission that the company effectively did not follow the procedure prescribed for obtaining the zoning and building permits. 

They noted that Torre de Manila is located within the city’s “institutional university cluster,” an area reserved for schools and government buildings under the ordinance.

 

ACT PROVIDING CIVIL CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES CULTURAL PROPERTIES PRESERVATION AND PROTECTION ACT CULTURE AND THE ARTS JOSE RIZAL KNIGHTS OF RIZAL NATIONAL COMMISSION NATIONAL CULTURAL HERITAGE ACT PROTECTION AND CONSERVATION OF THE NATIONAL CULTURAL HERITAGE REPUBLIC ACT
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