Knights of Rizal asks SC: Stop Torre de Manila

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 12 2014 05:52 PM | Updated as of Sep 13 2014 03:37 AM

MANILA - Stop the tower! That is the call of the Knights of Rizal as they asked the Supreme Court to stop the ongoing construction of Torre de Manila.

The group is filing a petition for a temporary restraining order against the condominium's developer, DMCI, for allegedly violating the constitutional provision on heritage sites.

"Petitioner is prompted with urgency to go to no less than the Highest Tribunal of the country due to what it sees as an impending permanent desecration of a National Cultural Treasure that is the Rizal Monument and a historical, political, socio-cultural landmark that is the Rizal Park," the opening statement of the petition read.

The group described the tower as "Terror de Manila" and said the structure ruins the sightline of the Rizal Monument.

Sen. Pia Cayetano, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Education, Arts, and Culture, earlier encouraged the filing of a case against DMCI due to the building's questionable zoning exemption.

Cayetano noted that DMCI was only allowed to build a seven-storey condo. DMCI Homes, however, appealed for an exemption to the local zoning laws.

Torre de Manila was already 19 floors high as of August 20, according to DMCI Homes' website.

In November last year, the Manila City Council issued a resolution suspending the construction of the building, saying the project violated a zoning ordinance pertaining to floor area ratio and height restrictions within a University/Institution Cluster Zone.

However, in January this year, the Manila Zoning Board of Adjustments and Appeals (MBZAA) reconsidered the suspension after DMCI Homes appealed for an exemption to local zoning laws. The city council did not appeal or reverse the recommendation made by the MBZAA.