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Solon says TRO on Torre may be bad for business

THE LOOMING Torre de Manila behind the Rizal Monument.  MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

THE LOOMING Torre de Manila behind the Rizal Monument. MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

A LAWMAKER has echoed the sentiments of business groups about Torre de Manila, saying that the controversy the project was now mired in sends the  wrong signal to traders.

Manila fifth district Rep. Ramon Bagatsing came to the defense of DMCI, the developer of the condominium, saying that the company’s permits were presumed legitimate after these were issued by the Manila City government.

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“The point is, if businessmen comply with the procedures and they are given permits to proceed, you will be sending the wrong signal if you harass them after the project has commenced,” Bagatsing said in a press conference last week.

Construction of the condominium, which critics say ruins the line of sight of the Rizal Monument, has been ordered stopped by the Supreme Court based on a petition filed by the Knights of Rizal.

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Earlier, Bagatsing, who was reported to be planning to run for Manila mayor next year,  drew flak for suggesting that the monument be turned around so that it would no longer be “photobombed” by the condominium. He later clarified that he was only voicing the opinion of a history professor while seeking the opinion of historical and cultural agencies  about the proposal.

Bagatsing said he believed that DMCI would not risk skirting the procedures in getting its project approved.

“Personally, I think no businessman in his right mind would invest billions of pesos and not comply with requirements of the local or national government. Especially DMCI, because [it is] publicly listed, and [it has] a responsibility to [its] shareholders,” he said.

Heritage advocates have criticized Torre de Manila for marring the once flawless background of the Rizal Park and Monument.

This prompted the Knights of Rizal to file a petition in the Supreme Court, seeking the demolition of the condominium to preserve the sanctity of the view behind the monument.

However, the Chamber of Real Estate and Builders Association Inc. as well as the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry have warned that this may discourage investors.

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TAGS: Amado Bagatsing, heritage, Philippine Heritage, Philippine history, Photobomber, Torre de Manila
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