SC wants experts’ opinion on Torre de Manila case
THE Supreme Court has tapped experts to share their views in its oral arguments next week on the case involving the construction of the 46-storey Torre de Manila condominium tagged as the “biggest photobomber” against the iconic sight line of the monument of national hero Jose Rizal in Luneta Park.
At a press conference, the high court designated as amici curiae or friends of the court Architect Emmanuel Cuntapay of the Department of Public Works and Highways, an expert on the National Building Code, as designated by the DPWH and a representative from the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board.
The high court, for the first time, also allowed “non-interested parties” to submit their positions on the controversy.
“The Court has defined ‘Interested Non-Parties’ as ‘professional associations, non-government organizations, interest group’ who are not to be hereby considered as neutral amici curiae from or representing the fields of real estate, tourism, construction, architecture, engineering and heritage conservation,” SC spokesman Theodore Te explained in a press conference.
Te said the high court allowed “non-interested parties” to also submit their positions because “the high court wants to get as much input from everyone involved.”
Oral argument was scheduled for July 21.
Last month, the high court stopped DMCI Homes from proceeding with the construction of the controversial building.
The high court issued the restraining order after the Knights of Rizal sought the high court’s intervention, saying that allowing the construction of the Torre de Manila to continue would be the “worst precedent imaginable” to devalue historical landmarks in the country.
The group also said the condominium’s developer acted in bad faith and violated zoning ordinances of the city government of Manila aside from existing guidelines on monuments when it proceeded with the construction of the controversial building.
The group also noted that the Rizal Monument has been declared as a National Cultural Treasure and as such is entitled to the full protection of the law.
Aside from zoning ordinances, the building, the petitioner said, also violates the National Historical Commission of the Philippines’ “Guidelines on Monuments Honoring National heroes, Illustrious Filipinos and Other Personages,” which mandate that historic monuments and landmarks should assert a visual “dominance” over the surroundings.
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