If people think that the problem about the scandalous Torre de Manila is over just because the Supreme Court (SC), in an 8-5 vote, ordered to stop its construction, then they have to pause and think again.
The Torre de Manila condominium, a 49-story building project managed by DMCI Project Developers Inc. is no doubt a monstrosity of a backdrop when viewing the exquisite, panoramic and famous Luneta Park with the imposing Rizal monument.
It boggles one’s mind how DM Consunji Inc. (DMCI) was allowed to start construction in 2012 when all along it was known by some stakeholders that the high-rise building will affect the ‘visual corridors’ or vista of the august Rizal monument?
In fact it was reported that on the same month that DMCI got a zoning permit to build the skyscraper, an online campaign against the construction was launched by tour guide and activist Carlos Celdran, who said that the structure would mar the view of the iconic Rizal monument.
What is even pathetic about the whole thing is that when there were already 19 floors built, the Knights of Rizal, along with Las Damas de Rizal Philippines Inc., sought the building’s demolition because it allegedly violated several laws protecting national heritage sites, including the local zoning ordinance that allows only schools and government buildings of up to seven stories to be built in that part of Manila.
It continues one to be dumbfounded when nothing was done by the pertinent authorities to finally put a halt to the project and decide what to do with it while there were still 19 floors to contend with.
Seemingly oblivious that the construction project was getting to be a monstrosity, DMCI continued adding floors until finally the SC has to step in and issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) for the construction of the Torre de Manila condominium, which by this time has gone up to having 32 floors already.
This is what I mean now when I said that the Torre de Manila problem is far from over because what is going to be done now with the building?
It was easier demolishing it while it had only 19 floors, but with 32 floors now, will DMCI just agree to have it imploded, as others suggest when they use the term ‘demolish’?
Surely, it is easier said than done.
Meanwhile and, I suppose, for a long time, the Torre de Manila, with all its 32 floors and idle cranes, will continue to be a scandalous sight in the otherwise scenic Luneta Rizal Park.