THE Supreme Court (SC) stopped on Tuesday the construction of the Torre de Manila, a 49-storey condominium near the Rizal Monument in Manila.

This was six months after the petition against property developer DMCI Homes, Inc. was filed before the high court by the Order of the Knights of Rizal, a group that was formed to honor the martyred hero, Jose Rizal.

An oral argument on the case was also set for June 30 at 2 p.m.

Eight magistrates voted for the issuance of the temporary restraining order against the project while five justices dissented including Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

Associate Justices Diosdado Peralta and Marvic Leonen took no part as they were on official leave.

The petitioners argued that once the construction of Torre de Manila is completed, the view of the Rizal Monument in Luneta Park, which is considered as an important landmark or structure in the country, will be destroyed forever.

They added that the Rizal Monument should be given importance because it symbolizes the Filipino race and the nation’s identity.

They further said that the construction of Torre de Manila violated Republic Act 4846, or the Cultural Properties Preservation and Protection Act, as well as RA 10066, or the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009, which provides protection to national cultural heritages.

They said that even the 1987 Constitution provides for the protection and promotion of national cultural heritages.

“The despoliation of the sight view of the Rizal monument is a situation that ‘annoys or offends the senses’ of every Filipino who honors the memory of the national hero Jose Rizal,” the petition stated, noting that Torre de Manila is just less than a kilometer away from the monument.

The petitioners said that the construction of Torre de Manila also violated the Manila Zoning Ordinance. (PNA/Sunnex)