Ex-Manila mayor: Torre de Manila ‘a destroyer of history, heritage, culture’
“A destroyer of history, heritage and culture”—this was how former Manila mayor and now Buhay party-list Representative Jose “Lito” Atienza described the controversial Torre de Manila, which has been criticized for disrupting the skyline view behind the historical Rizal Monument in Luneta.
“This is not just a ‘photobomber.’ This is a destroyer of history heritage, and culture of our nation,” Atienza said in an interview with Radyo Inquirer 990AM on Saturday.
The lawmaker hailed the Supreme Court’s decision issuing a temporary restraining order on the construction of the 46-storey condominium.
“Tama ang Korte Suprema. Illegal ‘yan, mali ‘yan (The Supreme Court is right. The construction is illegal and wrong),” he said.
The high court on June 16 issued a restraining order against the construction of controversial condominium building in Ermita.
He said the Manila City Council led by Vice Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso should be blamed for the construction of the Torre de Manila.
He said the city council has taken the responsibility to approve building permits, when it should not be within their powers as elected officials.
“Tama ba itong ginawa ng city council? Kinuha nila ang kapangyarihan. Sila ang nag-aapruba ng mga building permit (Did the city council do the right thing? The members assumed power. They approved the building permit),” he said.
The Supreme Court, he said, should investigate this to find out who is responsible for the erstwhile continued construction of the condominium.
“Let us pinpoint responsibility,” he said.
He said the city government has building officials, city development officers and city engineers who should be the ones issuing the permits.
Former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada has blamed his predecessor Alfredo Lim for the Torre de Manila fiasco, saying the latter had issued permits approving the construction of the condominium.
In a press briefing, Estrada showed documents that Lim indeed approved the construction.
Estrada said that during Lim’s term as city mayor, the Manila City Council enacted an ordinance on the Torre De Manila suspending the building permit of the condominium but Lim had vetoed it.
Atienza said the blame game between Estrada and Lim is expected to escalate as the two are seen to battle again in the 2016 elections for Manila mayor.
The high court will start its oral arguments on the issue on June 30. IDL
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