MANILA – DMCI Holdings, Inc. suspended selling Torre de Manila condominium units as ordered by the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) and delayed construction of said condominium as commanded by the Supreme Court (SC) in its temporary restraining order (TRO).
The 46-story Torre de Manila was criticized for being an eyesore in the sightline of Jose Rizal’s monument in Rizal Park, Manila. Order of the Knights of Rizal then petitioned against DMCI.
According to the petitioners, the developer violated the Cultural Properties Preservation and Protection Act and the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009.
The petition then prompted the SC to look into the matter being raised.
With the TRO issued, the suspension of sales and postponement of construction will then take effect after DMCI receives both directives.
HLURB chief executive officer Antonio Bernardo acknowledged, however, that the developer could resume sales once the SC lifts the TRO.
SC will not inhibit CJ
Amidst questions on Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno’s husband being linked to DMCI Holdings, Inc., the SC maintained that it would not inhibit the Chief Justice as there were no valid grounds to do so.
“The Chief Justice’s husband, Mr. Mario Jose E. Sereno, was connected with Dacon Corp., a Consunji-owned corporation, but resigned from that company almost 26 years ago, in July 1989,” SC spokesman Theodore Te said.
“The supposed connection of the CJ’s spouse to a party in a pending case is not a ground for mandatory inhibition; note also that the connection ceased 26 years ago,” he added.
DMCI consolidates all construction interests of the Consunji clan.
Sereno, for her part, was ‘mindful of the procedures for causing the voluntary inhibition of any judge or justice from any pending matter.’
Meanwhile, Senator Loren Legarda reminded those ‘who desecrate our heritage and think of violating our heritage laws’ to think twice before planning to do so.
“[The Rizal monument is a] visual reminder to continue the ideals and advocacies that Rizal had pushed for all throughout his life… [and Torre de Manila] has become an unsightly backdrop to the iconic edifice,” she pointed out.