MANILA, Philippines – Makati RTC denied the bid by DMCI Homes Inc. to junk the cease and desist order issued by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts on the building of the Torre de Manila condominium, which is marring the sight line of the Rizal Monument and park.
The petition, filed by the DMCI Homes Inc. against the CDO of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, was dismissed through an order released by Judge Encarnacion Moya of the the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 146 on February 10, 2015.
Moya noted and upheld the quasi-judicial nature of the NCCA. Through RA 7356, the law which creates the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, and RA 10066 or The National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009, mandates the NCCA to uphold, preserve and conserve national cultural heritage and properties and empowers the agency to promulgate policies and hear cases, issue orders and compel action on the issues of cultural importance.
Counsels for Torre de Manila builders refused to comment on the court’s decision as they are undergoing further studies of the case.
According to Moya, trial courts have no jurisdiction over the NCCA and also noted that the Rules of Court indicate that cases of such nature or against decisions of such government bodies should be handled by higher courts.
NCCA issued and served the CDO at the Torre de Manila construction area on January 5 and at the DMCI head office in Makati on January 13. The DMCI answered through filing a case at the Makati RTC on February 2.
In the said order, the NCCA calls the halting of construction of Torre de Manila, already 30% completed as of December 2014, on the grounds that it mars the sightlines or visual corridors of the Rizal Monument, a declared National Cultural Treasure of the Philippines and a sublime symbol of the Filipino nation.
The CDO will be in effect “until such time as the commission can make the declaration of whether or not there is actual destruction and if such destruction warrants a permanent cease and desist order.”
The agency has pointed out that DMCI committed a violation against the issued CDO, as the agency acquired footage of a crane moving construction equipment in the Torre de Manila site. NCCA warned that it could issue arrest warrants to DMCI’s officials on grounds of violation of the CDO.
For more information, contact the NCCA Public Affairs and Information Office (PAIO) head, Rene Sanchez Napenas at (632) 527-2192 or 0928-5081057; or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.