Pia Cayetano to bring Torre de Manila issue to int'l body
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Pia Cayetano is taking the controversial Torre de Manila issue to the international arena.
Cayetano, who began a Senate probe into the 49-storey DMCI Homes condominium, that supposedly ruined the view of the national hero's monument in Manila, is now in Florence, Italy, for the 18th General Assembly of the International Council on Monuments and Shrines (ICOMOS).
The senator is expected to present a resolution against Torre de Manila before the council.
"We hope to gather international support for our campaign to stop the Torre de Manila project and its developer, DM Consunji Inc (DMCI), from desecrating the sightline and integrity of the Rizal Monument," she said in a press release on Monday, November 10.
ICOMOS is one of the most prestigous bodies promoting the protection of heritage sites and monuments all over the world. An advisory body to the UN Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO), it is composed of 9,500 heritage experts from all over the world.
It is the body responsible for nominating cultural and historical sites for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Cayetano said she had been working with ICOMOS to find out how to deal with Torre de Manila, nicknamed the country's "national photo-bomber" because of its obtrusive effect on photos of the Rizal Monument, a 101-year-old National Shrine in Manila where the remains of national hero Jose Rizal are interred.
"After my initial visits to UNESCO and the ICOMOS headquarters in Paris, I learned how around the world, governments, NGOs, businesses and communities have united to protect their heritage sites. And there are many examples of structures and buildings found to be obstructing these sites that were struck down," said Cayetano.
As of writing, Torre de Manila is more than 20 floors high. DMCI Homes pegged the status of completion at 27.32% as of October 14. (READ: Torre de Manila 'selfie challenge' posed to DMCI)
Heritage advocacy group Knights of Rizal has filed a petition with the Supreme Court for the demolition of the condominium. – with reports from Pia Ranada/Rappler.com