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SC orders firm to answer petition vs Torre de Manila

Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - September 25, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Supreme Court (SC) has ordered a property developer to answer the petition filed by the Knights of Rizal seeking 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 a resolution approved last Tuesday, the high court opted to defer ruling on the prayer for a temporary restraining order (TRO) to prevent DMCI Homes from proceeding with the project.

Instead, the SC required DMCI to explain within 10 days why the TRO should not be granted.

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

Aside from the issuance of a TRO, the group also asked the high court 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 providing for the protecion 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 said the project violated Manila’s zoning ordinance, citing the DMCI legal counsel’s admission that the company 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.

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 REPUBLIC ACT RIZAL MONUMENT SUPREME COURT
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