MANILA — The House committee on Metro Manila Development on Tuesday warned DMCI, the contractor of Torre de Manila, that the firm might be banned to join auctions of government projects should the panel proved that it connived with some inept government officials.
The panel chairman and Quezon City Rep. Winston Castelo said they would investigate how DMCI secured needed documents and who were the people responsible for issuing the needed papers.
“If we gathered enough evidences that lead to bribery, we might recommend banning DMCI to get government projects,” Castelo told House reporters in a weekly news forum, Ugnayan sa Batasan.
His statement was echoed by his colleagues and members of the panel, Ako Bicol Party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe and Akbayan Party-list Barry Gutierrez, saying that they will also look why DMCI disobeyed the cease and desist order by National Commission for Culture and Arts (NCCA) on January 15, ordering the contractor to stop the construction.
Gutierrez suspected that DMCI intentionally ignored the order instead, they continued the construction. The construction was stop only after the Supreme Court issued temporary restraining order.
In an earlier interview with Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, he vowed that he was ready to facilitate the demolition of Torre de Manila should the SC decided.
Estrada likewise blamed the National Historical Commission of the Philippines for declaring that the project “would not affect the view of the Rizal monument.” Former Manila mayor Alfredo Lim approved the construction of a 19-story building.
Estrada presented documents showing Lim that signed a building permit to DMCI Holdings Inc. indicating the approval of a 49-story condominium building.
The former president said he was considering filing charges against Lim for saying he received money from DMCI to add more floors to the building.
The House panel will summon Estrada and Lim, to shed light on allegations that bribes enabled DMCI to break zoning restrictions and build the 49-story Torre de Manila which, according to critics, “photobombs” the Rizal Monument.