On December 30, 2014, President Benigno S. Aquino III led the flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremonies at the Rizal Monument, for the commemoration of the 118th anniversary of the martyrdom of Dr. Jose P. Rizal.
An image of what appeared to be the building that’s going up across the park on the other side of Taft Avenue, can be seen in the background of the Rizal Monument has been making the rounds online. It was posted on the Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines Facebook and netizens expressed anger over the rise of Rizal Monument photobomber, Torre de Manila.
Rizal Park (Liwasang Rizal) known as Luneta Park or Luneta, is a historical urban park located along Roxas Boulevard, City of Manila, Philippines, adjacent to the old walled city of Intramuros. The Park has been a favorite leisure spot ever since the Spanish Colonial times and is frequently visited on Sundays and national holidays. It is one of the major tourist spots in the City of Manila.
Situated in Manila Bay, Luneta made a great contribution in Philippine history. The execution of national hero José Rizal on December 30, 1896, fanned the flames of the 1896 Philippine Revolution against the Kingdom of Spain. The area was officially renamed Rizal Park in his honor, and the monument enshrining his remains serves as the park’s symbolic focal point.
The Declaration of Philippine Independence from the American Occupation was held here on July 4, 1946 as were later political rallies including those of Ferdinand Marcos and Corazon Aquino in 1986 that culminated in the EDSA Revolution.
In 2012, the City of Manila received a complaint from tour guide and cultural activist Carlos Celdran against the development of the condominium. However, Manila City Councilor Joel R. Chua said that building and zoning permits were already given to the developer, which prompted them to start the project, GMA reported.
Some online commenters have expressed their views about Torre de Manila:
“Probably the owner of DMCI just gave payola to the Mayor of Manila and other corrupt officials even losing million bucks rather than losing a billion project,see how the Mayor fights for the legality of the project as if he is a major investor in that project..expect that he will defend the existence of the project no matter what..see how confident they are, the building is being questioned and yet the operation went on..thats how crooked the system in Pinas!!!Classic!!!”
“The Construction is on going. Hindi ko alam kung may magagawa pa gawa pa ng gobyerno palo na’t nakinabang “yata” ang local government.”
“Bayani ng bansang ito si Jose Rizal, ginagalang ng mga Pilipino pero yung nagpapagawa ng building na yan, waang respeto.”
“Under investigation pero tuloy ang construction… panira, nklimutan n nga ang kasaysayan, sbagay mismong mga namumuno s bayan ntin ndi n isina alang alang ang halaga ng ksaysayn, tpos mg survey cla kng may pgpphalaga p ang taong bayan s mhhlagang history s ating Inang Bansa…”
“By looking at the picture, pangit nga naman tignan ung view na may nakasingit na buildg. Pero help me understand po, may certain distance ba dapat kapag magtatayo ng buildg malapit sa monumento ni Rizal? Building talagang malaki yan kaya kahit malayo ka makikita at makikita mo.”
“If you’re involved in construction, this was permitted by the government because corruption is very common. This photo bomber symbolizes how the government does not implement it’s laws. As an architect I’m totally disgusted with building which is behind my alma mater. Implement zoning”
Rizal Monument now one of world’s threatened heritage sites – a privilege speech delivered by Sen. Senator Pia S. Cayetano in the Senate Plenary Session, Nov. 18, 2014.
“At the end of the (ICOMOS 18th General Assembly) session, the Philippine’s Rizal Monument, along with Machu Picchu of Peru, El Camino de Santiago Compostela of Spain, Dampier Archipelago of Australia and a number of other sites, were considered as in danger, and in urgent need of government attention and necessitating protection.”
“If we do not act now, if we do not set this right now, we stand to lose so much. The Rizal Shrine will forever be marred by this private structure. And not only that, we lose the opportunity to send the right message for all the other historical and cultural treasures that are threatened.”