The Rizal Monument stole the headlines this year after a controversy involving construction of a residential tower that is said to have “photo-bombed” the vista of the memorial to the country’s national hero reached the highest court of the land.
The case remains pending with the Supreme Court after oral arguments on a petition to have the construction of the multi-story structure halted were suspended.
The construction of the tower known as the Torre de Manila by DMCI Corp. is also at standstill after a temporary restraining order (TRO) was issued by the High Court.
The court en banc recently ordered DMCI to see to it that the building is safe and maintained in order to avoid any accident that may endanger the public.
The Manila Times was able to obtain a four-page resolution from the SC, dated December 8, which directs DMCI to adopt necessary safety measures for the building despite the fact that its construction was halted by the SC.
DMCI has agreed that the building must be maintained in order to avoid any accident.
“The court authorizes and directs DMCI-PI to conduct the necessary safety and maintenance works on the Torre de Manila to prevent damages to itself and to the public, until further orders from this court,” the SC ruled.
It, however, did not lift a finger on DMCI’s second urgent motion to lift its TRO since it was just marked “noted.”
“The court further resolves to “[n]ote the second urgent motion to lift the temporary restraining order dated November 23, 2015 filed by counsel for private respondent DMCI Project Developers Inc.,” the resolution read.
The Manila Times also exposed that Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno was clinging to the Torre de Manila case because her husband was formerly connected with a DMCI corporation.
The SC en banc, voting 8-5, ordered DMCI Project Developers Inc. to stop its construction of the building.
It had issued a TRO in favor of petitioner Order of the Knights of Rizal, which filed their petition in September 2014.
In a statement, Sereno admitted that her husband, Mario Jose Sereno, was connected before with a Consunji-owned corporation.
But she said Mario has severed his ties with Dacon Corp. 26 years ago.