‘DMCI not entitled to compensation’
The House committee on Metro Manila development will oppose any compensation for DMCI Homes Inc. should the Supreme Court decide to demolish its 49-story Torre de Manila which, according to critics, has spoiled the iconic vista of the Rizal Monument.
Committee chair and Quezon City Rep. Winston Castelo said that DMCI was in no position to demand compensation because it bent the rules to build a “monstrosity” on Taft Avenue, Manila.
“Not a single centavo should be paid in favor of DMCI after the committee received information that permits and licenses were issued under [a] suspicious manner,” Castelo stated in a text message.
He was seconded by Akbayan Rep. Barry Gutierrez who said that should it “be established that the construction commenced illegally or with irregularity, then there should be no compensation due.”
The current and past mayors of Manila, Joseph Estrada and Alfredo Lim, have accused each other of being responsible for approving the project despite the strict height restrictions in the area. Lim also accused Estrada of taking a P1-million bribe from DMCI which the latter vehemently denied. In turn, Estrada called Lim a “liar and an old man with Alzheimer’s [disease].”
Castelo and Gutierrez were reacting to a news report that Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno had raised the issue of compensation in a letter sent to Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza.
Sereno made the query a month after the Supreme Court voted 8 to 5 to temporarily stop work on Torre de Manila as requested by the Knights of Rizal. The court is expected to decide Monday whether to go ahead with the oral arguments or heed a request from the Solicitor General for another rescheduling.
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