Remember our past, honor our heroes

News Release
30 December 2014

118th Rizal Day:
Sen.Pia: Remember our past, honor our heroes

“Ang hindi marunong lumingon sa pinanggalingan ay hindi makakarating sa paroroonan.” (Those who do not know how to value their past are condemned not to reach their destination.)

“This is one of Dr Jose Rizal’s most often quoted words. Who would have thought that this warning, issued by Rizal for his countrymen more than a century ago, would come back and haunt us and the very shrine built to honor him?”

Thus asked Senator Pia S. Cayetano on the occasion of the 118th anniversary of the death and heroism of Dr. Jose Rizal, as she reiterated the call to protect and preserve the sanctity of the Rizal Monument in Manila.

“The writings, ideals and sacrifices of Dr. Jose Rizal for our nationhood have never been as true and relevant today,” said Cayetano, the Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture, who initiated a Senate probe on the construction of the 49-story Torre de Manila condominium.

Cayetano stressed: “It has always been my position that the Rizal Shrine, as a national monument, is entitled to full protection under the Constitution and our national heritage law, whose objective is to preserve and protect important cultural properties and national cultural treasures and to safeguard their intrinsic value, within their historical setting and that includes their vistas and visual corridors.”

“I enjoin our national cultural agencies to make full use of their authority and fulfill their constitutional mandate to preserve and protect our remaining historical and cultural heritage,” she said.

“I remain hopeful that the case filed by the Knights of Rizal against Torre de Manila and its developers, DMCI Homes Inc., before the Supreme Court would be resolved favorably and earnestly by the high court,” she added.

“Torre de Manila must go if we are to restore the sanctity of the Rizal Shrine. At the very least, the number of floors of the structure should be reduced to what the developer was originally entitled to. Under Manila’s local zoning ordinances, the tower should have been allowed to build up to only seven floors.”

“Based on the latest construction update posted on the DMCI website, the tower is already 32 stories high and we can see how it obscures the monument now. We could only imagine how it would dwarf the shrine even more when all 49 floors are completed.”

“The Rizal Monument deserves our utmost respect, and must be preserved for the generations of Filipinos to come,” she concluded.#

Note: Link to Torre de Manila construction update

“Ang hindi marunong lumingon sa pinanggalingan ay hindi makakarating sa paroroonan.”- Dr. Jose P. Rizal

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