Pia Cayetano: For Torre de Manila builder, it’s we who must adjust | Inquirer News
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Pia Cayetano: For Torre de Manila builder, it’s we who must adjust

RIZAL IN CONDO’S SHADOW  The construction of the Torre de Manila, which mars the view of the Rizal Monument in Manila,  continues despite calls from various groups to stop the building.  INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / EDWIN BACASMAS

RIZAL IN CONDO’S SHADOW The construction of the Torre de Manila, which mars the view of the Rizal Monument in Manila, continues despite calls from various groups to stop the building. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / EDWIN BACASMAS

Sen. Pia Cayetano branded as an insult to Filipinos the position taken by the developer of the controversial Torre de Manila, which on Tuesday defended the rising 49-storey condominium project against critics who said it would ruin the view of Rizal Monument.

The senator, who launched an inquiry into the project last month, castigated DMCI Project Developers Inc. for saying that recent media photos of the structure had been “photoshopped” to make it appear closer to the national shrine. The firm also argued that Torre wouldn’t appear in the background of the monument if the photo would be taken from “certain angles.”

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“[DMCI] now wants all Filipinos, foreign tourists, dignitaries and practically coming generations from here on to adopt its preferred ‘view’ of the Rizal Monument, which until late last year has stood there, proud and unchallenged for 100 years. How convenient!” Cayetano said in a statement. “Clearly, the way DMCI sees it, it is we the public who must adjust… to view and appreciate our national hero’s shrine.”

Cayetano also said DMCI was trivializing the criticism hurled at the project by alleging that the photos used in the media were manipulated or photoshopped. The company was thus questioning the reputation of professional photographers and members of the media who have posted photos and aired footage of the monument and the building, she said.

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“It also undermines the integrity of our Senate inquiry which is precisely looking into this matter. DMCI apparently thinks the issue over Torre de Manila is just a figment of our collective imagination and can be solved cosmetically,” she added.

In reply to the senator, a DMCI statement sent to the Inquirer on Wednesday reiterated that ‘’we followed all the rules and regulations and met every legal requirement. We also had been cleared by the National Historical Commission. We followed the law as required of us.”

Meanwhile, the group questioning the project in the Supreme Court returned to the tribunal on Wednesday to ask for the early resolution of its petition that seeks Torre’s demolition.

Michael Charleston Chua, spokesperson of Knights of Rizal, said the group hoped that the tribunal would act soon particularly on KOR’s petition for a temporary restraining order (TRO) against DMCI, because the structure kept “rising every day.”

When the group sought a TRO last week, it noted that Torre was already about 23-percent complete, with 19 floors already constructed.

Chua said they filed a new motion after learning that the SC on Tuesday deferred action on the petition without citing any reason. “The Knights of Rizal is yet to be officially informed of the deferment, but (our) legal counsel William Jasarino filed this morning an urgent motion for an early resolution of [our] petition, especially the TRO,” he told the Inquirer.

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TAGS: DMCI Project Developers Inc., heritage, National Historical Commission, Philippine Heritage, Pia Cayetano, Rizal Monument, Torre de Manila
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