OSG pushes for demolition of Torre de Manila

Edu Punay, The Philippine Star

Posted at Sep 23 2015 11:02 AM | Updated as of Sep 23 2015 07:04 PM

MANILA - The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) has pushed for the demolition of the Torre de Manila condominium for ruining the iconic sight line of the monument of national hero Jose Rizal in Rizal Park.

In a 46-page memorandum filed on Monday, Solicitor General Florin Hilbay reiterated his position that the Rizal monument is legally protected since it forms part of the “cultural commons of the Republic.”

The OSG represents the National Commission on Culture and the Arts and the National Museum in this case.

“The Constitution declares that all the country’s artistic and historical wealth constitutes the cultural treasure of the nation and shall be under the protection of the State. The accompanying mandate is for the State to conserve, promote and popularize the nation’s historical and cultural heritage,” read the pleading.

Hilbay also said the permits for the construction of the condominium, built by DMCI Homes Inc. were not valid.

He said the city planning and development office (CPDO) did not have the authority to issue the zoning permit, based on Ordinance 8119, Manila’s zoning ordinance.

DMCI’s permit was for floor-to-area ratio of 13 when the ordinance only allowed ratio of four.

“Torre de Manila should have been entitled to a maximum of seven floors, its application was for 49 floors. This is 42 floors beyond the authority of the CPDO,” Hilbay said.

He said DMCI should have secured a variance or exception from the city council “prior to conducting any business activity or construction on their property.”

With these grounds, the solicitor general asked the SC to order DMCI to demolish Torre de Manila and tap concerned national agencies, by way of continuing mandamus, to oversee the demolition of the condominium.

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