Pia Cayetano to DMCI: Don’t insult Filipinos
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Pia Cayetano did not mince words in reacting to te allegation of DMCI Homes that photos taken by media of the controversial Torre de Manila were photoshopped.
"It is unfortunate that instead of answering the issues head on, DMCI has chosen to trivialize mounting public protests against Torre de Manila by claiming that all photographs showing its condo tower photobombing the Rizal Monument were manipulated or merely Photoshopped,” she said in a September 17 statement.
DMCI Homes had earlier publicized a statement saying “to grab public attention,” some parties had taken the “unethical approach of virtually juxtaposing pictures of our project right behind the monument.”
Cayetano took it personally, saying DMCI’s allegations undermine the integrity of the Senate inquiry she has called to look into the company’s possible violations in constructing the tower.
"DMCI's attitude towards this issue insults the intelligence of any self-respecting Filipino. It questions the reputation of professional photographers and media establishments that have posted photos and aired video footages of their photobombing tower,” she said.
The senator stood by the integrity of her staff and media photographers who documented the ocular inspection she had conducted on August 27. Photos of the inspection have been used in recent articles about the Senate inquiry on the 49-storey condominium.
Adjusting to DMCI Homes
She also derided suggestions of DMCI Homes that if one were to stand at a certain angle from the Rizal Shrine, Torre de Manila would be hidden from sight, thereby allaying concerns that it would ruin the view and the monument’s visual dominance.
“It now wants all Filipinos, foreign tourists, dignitaries and practically coming generations from here on to adopt its preferred 'view' of the Rizal Monument, which until late last year, has stood there, proud and unchallenged for 100 years. How convenient!”
During a September 18 press conference, she made a counter-suggestion.
“Why don’t they just put an arc near the Shrine so we can tell people to just stay there if they want an unobstructed view?”
To set matters straight, Cayetano said she would once again invite DMCI Homes to attend a hearing set to take place the following week. She said she would also invite company representatives to join her in an ocular inspection of the Rizal Monument to show her how the landmark may be viewed without the tower.
It is similar to the challenge posed by cultural activist Carlos Celdran who dared DMCI Homes executives to take a “selfie” at the Shrine to prove the tower did not ruin the view.
Aside from its impact on the Rizal Shrine, a National Historical Landmark, the construction of Torre de Manila has been hit for violating Manila City zoning laws.
Its floor-to-area ratio far exceeds the limit set for its location, thereby burdening utilities and vehicle capacity of the area.
But DMCI Homes has reiterated that it had all the necessary permits to begin construction, all of which were obtained during the term of then Manila mayor Alfredo Lim.
After two Senate hearings, Cayetano said she believed that the company was a “builder in bad faith” because it had proceeded with construction despite opposition from the Manila City Council and allegations that the permits were hastily issued.
Cayetano also confirmed that the demolition of the building or an imposed height limit may be part of the recommendations she will make at the end of her Senate inquiry. – Rappler.com
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