Seares: Freddie Aguilar’s idea on Rizal’s statue

ICONIC singer and songwriter Freddie Aguilar has a solution to the long-running dispute over the location of Torre de Manila in Luneta where the statue of Jose Rizal dominates: swap Rizal's sculpture with that of the carabaos.

The 46-story condo is the photo-bomber that spoils the Rizal monument view. Litigation over it has reached the Supreme Court, which is asked to rule whether Torre de Manila violates laws protecting national landmarks.

Aguilar's solution is simple, he said in a TV interview, a matter of swapping statues.

Two sculptured carabaos stand like guards at Luneta's west entrance. Rizals statue, with its obelisk, is farther away.

Here's the problem: Rizal was executed, records say, 100 meters (330 feet) north-northwest of the monument. And his remains are in the stone base of the statue. Relocation will move his monument and his bones farther away from the historic site and gave the premium spot to the carabaos. Rizalistas will go ballistics over that.

Is Aguilar's idea silly? On Aug. 6, 2012, then congressman Amado Bagatsing proposed that Rizal's statue face Manila, not Manila Bay. The suggestion raised eyebrows but he wasn't laughed out of the House.

Apparently, it's the reported appointment of Aguilar to head the National Commission for Culture & the Arts (NCCA) that prompted critics to amp noise over his idea. Wait till he gets appointed to a new department he reportedly wants created, a Department of Culture & Arts. Opposition will be decibels higher.

A song

Compromise, sound or silly, may be beyond reach now. The Supreme Court held its last hearing on Sept. 11, 2015, later capped with the the solicitor general's plea for DMCI Home to tear down its tower.

Freddie Aguilar wrote a stirring song for Duterte. Maybe he can write one about Torre de Manila and the crisis that erratic law enforcement created.

(paseares@gmail.com)

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