MANILA - DMCI Holdings, the developer of the controversial condominium project Torre de Manila, has tagged the new position taken by Solicitor General Florin Hilbay of the "physics" of the Rizal Monument as a "hoax."
DMCI said Hilbay's statements that Torre de Manila is ruining the iconic sight line of the monument of national hero Jose Rizal in Rizal Park is "without any basis in law, fact or science."
"The company also tagged as a 'hoax' without any basis in law, fact or science the new position taken by Solicitor General Florin Hilbay of the 'physics' of the Rizal Monument such that the obelisk, statue and the sky must be treated as an integrated whole," the company said in a statement released on Thursday.
Earlier, Hilbay urged the Supreme Court (SC) to order DMCI to demolish the project, citing "the statutory mandate to protect the physical integrity of cultural artifacts covers the protection of the sightline of the Rizal Monument."
Hilbay said that while "there is no universal standard for protecting the physics or, in the language of R.A. 10066, 'the physical integrity' of a cultural artifact," the language of the law must accommodate this concept.
"The Rizal Monument, as an artwork, was intended to be, and has always been, seen with a clear sight line," he said during the oral arguments on the petition of the Order of the Knights of Rizal (OKOR) against the controversial project.
DMCI, however, is now asking the SC to dismiss the petition and to immediately lift the temporary restraining order (TRO) it issued on June 16, 2015.
The firm stressed that "the government heritage agencies have no jurisdiction over Torre de Manila since it was built on private property outside of the Rizal Park or any heritage zone, and that the Rizal Monument was declared a national cultural treasure one year after the developer obtained all government permits and started building."
It added that without any constitutional or legal provision protecting or conserving sight lines, the project remains to be "a legitimate expression of DMCI’s right to property."