Inspection of Torre de Manila urged for possible TRO violation
The Order of the Knights of Rizal (OKR) has asked the Supreme Court to order an inspection of Torre de Manila to determine if the condominium builder is complying with the restraining order that stopped its construction in 2015.
In a motion, OKR told the high court that an inspection is necessary following reports that DMCI Project Developers Inc. (DMCI-PDI) resumed the construction of Torre De Manila and is already on the finishing touches of the controversial building dubbed as the “biggest photobomber.”
OKR said the inspection can be conducted by authorized technical personnel of the Department of Public Works and Highways, the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB), and other government agencies.
The restraining order was issued in 2015, stopping DMCI-PDI from continuing with the construction of the condominium. The restraining order was issued following the petition filed by OKR saying that Torre would ruin the sightline of the Rizal Monument at Luneta Park.
DMCI-PDI has filed several motions asking the high court to lift the restraining order, saying that the buyers have expressed their “extreme frustration and disappointment at the continued suspension of the Torre de Manila project.”
It added that it has incurred additional costs due to the stoppage of the project as well as job loss.
OKR also sought the demolition of the condominium.
Laws protecting Rizal Monument
“Torre de Manila building would… overshadow the entire monument, whether up close or viewed from a distance. No one can take photo of the Rizal shrine without also capturing the high-rise condominium at its back,” the petition stated.
The petition pointed out that the preservation of the Rizal Monument is mandated under Republic Act No. 4846 or the Cultural Properties Preservation and Protection Act; Republic Act No. 7356 which created National Commission on Culture and the Arts; and Republic Act No. 10066, the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009 on the Protection and Conservation of the National Cultural Heritage.
“When Torre de Manila reaches the full height of 46 floors by the target date of 2016, it will completely dominate the vista and, consequently, substantially diminish in scale and importance the most cherished monument to the national hero. It will have the same effect for the view of the Luneta park. And this will be for all eternity,” it said.
In its recent motion, Atty. William L. Jasareno urged the high court to specify a timetable for conducting the inspection, and preparing, finalizing and submitting a report on the result of the inspection, copy furnished the parties, all to be finished no later than two months from receipt of the order from this Court, unless otherwise ordered.
OKR also urged the high court to “require the production of document, supply of any relevant information, and direct assistance from any one, with advice that failure, neglect or refusal to do so may be reported to this Court for possible sanction.”
“Submit a thorough and objective report within a reasonable time that will state the following, among others and specify if any work was/has been undertaken after the TRO took effect last June 2015, and what is the full extent or coverage of such work, specifying the details and the inclusive dates thereof,” the motion added.
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