MANILA (Mabuhay) – As the nation commemorates the 118th anniversary of the martyrdom of Dr. Jose Rizal, Senator Pia Cayetano on Tuesday renewed call to protect and preserve the sanctity of the Rizal monument in Manila.
“I enjoin our national cultural agencies to make full use of their authority and fulfill their constitutional mandate to preserve and protect our remaining historical and cultural heritage,” Cayetano said.
Cayetano is the chairperson of the Senate committee on education, arts and culture which initiated a Senate inquiry on the construction of the 49-story Torre de Manila condominium near the Rizal Park.
”Who have thought that the famous quote of Dr. Jose Rizal: Ang hindi marunong lumingon sa pinanggalingan ay hindi makakarating sa paroroonan (Those who do not know how to value their past are condemned not to reach their destination) come back and haunt us and the very shrine built to honor him?,” Cayetano said.
Cayetano stressed the need for full protection of the Rizal Shrine since as a national monument “it is entitled to full protection under the Constitution and our national heritage law.”
”The objective of these laws is to preserve and protect important cultural properties and national cultural treasures and to safeguard their intrinsic value, within their historical setting and that includes their vistas and visual corridors,” the lady senator said.
The lady lawmaker said she remains hopeful that the case filed by the Knights of Rizal against Torre de Manila and its developers, DMCI Homes Inc., before the Supreme Court would be resolved favorably and earnestly by the high court.
”Torre de Manila must go if we are to restore the sanctity of the Rizal Shrine. At the very least, the number of floors of the structure should be reduced to what the developer was originally entitled to. Under Manila’s local zoning ordinances, the tower should have been allowed to build up to only seven floors,” she explained.
Based on the latest construction update posted on the DMCI website, the tower is already 32 stories high.
”We can see how it obscures the monument now. We could only imagine how it would dwarf the shrine even more when all 49 floors are completed,” Cayetano warned.
“The Rizal Monument deserves our utmost respect, and must be preserved for the generations of Filipinos to come,” she added.(MNS)