The recent ruling of the Supreme Court (SC) to stop the construction of the Torre de Manila is a step in the right direction toward holding construction companies accountable, particularly on projects that have serious historical and cultural impact, said Akbayan Rep. Barry Gutierrez.
The statement was made after the SC issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) to DMCI Project Developers Inc. against the continuing construction of the 49-story Torre de Manila, looming uninvited, and photobombing the most cherished skyline of the national hero’s monument at Rizal Park in Luneta, Manila.
“The ruling represents the triumph of citizens acting together and a vindication of the efforts of Congress to ensure that development projects are in accord with our culture and in the preservation of our national and historical landmarks,” Gutierrez said.
“I hope the TRO will be an initial step toward a permanent injunction to protect the sanctity of the Rizal monument skyline and uphold historical heritage over rampant commercialization,” he added.
The TRO is “effective immediately until further orders from the court.”
The Akbayan lawmaker also said the TRO of the DMCI project is timely and would make a “fitting tribute” to the national hero Jose Rizal, especially as the nation is only two days away from commemorating his 154th birthday anniversary.
In September 2014, the petition for injunction was filed before the Supreme Court to stop the building of the controversial condominium project that has generated widespread public outrage.
With the case pending resolution, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts also issued a cease and desist order on the tower construciton on January 2015, highlighting how the project “destroys or significantly alter” the view of the historic Rizal Shrine.
“Not that it has dissuaded the company from pressing ahead with the construction, who claimed that only an injunction from the high Court could compel them to stop,” Gutierrez said.
With the SC now issuing the TRO, the lawmaker said this effectively leaves DMCI without any legal loophole to exploit to evade compliance.
The Akbayan lawmaker further urged the Supreme Court to issue a ruling that will order DMCI to pull down its building to a height the court deems reasonable, preventing the tower from further lumbering uninvited into the Rizal monument skyline.
The high Court is set to hear the oral arguments on the case on June 30.###