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Controversial skyscraper allowed in a 'test case for Philippine Heritage'

Property Markets / Planning, Zoning, Infrastructure


Apr 26 2017

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Al Gerard de la Cruz

No law forbids the construction of an embattled condominium project in Manila.

This was the much-anticipated ruling of the Philippines’ highest court in a three-year-long fight to preserve a skyline dominated for more than a century by the Rizal Monument.

The Supreme Court voted 9-6 Tuesday against a petition suspending construction of the building in question, Torre de Manila, developed by property giant DMCI Homes. The 49-storey building is on Taft Avenue, a historic thoroughfare situated several kilometres away from the monument.

“The petitioners have no standing to sue,” Supreme Court Spokesperson Theodore Te told reporters in the Philippine capital. “They stand to suffer no injury.”

The ruling effectively lifts a temporary restraining order initiated by civic group Order of the Knights of Rizal, citing the Cultural Properties Preservation and Protection Act (Republic Act 4846), the National Cultural Heritage Act, and several zoning regulations.

“The public support that was expressed in favor of our stand was an indication not only of the importance of the National Monument but also to the continued relevance and reverence our National Hero, Jose Rizal still enjoys,” the Knights of Rizal said in a statement.

Xiao Chua of the Knights of Rizal called it a “test case for Philippine Heritage.”

DMCI Homes welcomed the “just” ruling in a statement. “We will immediately resume construction to finally end the undue suffering of our stakeholders, most especially our workers and future residents who depended on our commitment to complete the project.”

The monument, built in 1913, holds the remains of the Filipino martyr Jose Rizal. He was executed in the area, now known as Rizal Park, during the waning years of the Spanish colonial rule in the Philippines.

SOURCE: Property Report


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