THE HIGH COURT DECISIONS

KOMUNIDAD
April 27, 2017

THE HIGH COURT DECISIONS

By Arturo P. Garcia

Salus populi est suprema lex ( The Voice of the people is the supreme law). This one of the tenets of the courts of law.

But his saying is contravened by another saying, Dura Lex, sed lex ( The law is harsh, but that’s the law).

The recent Philippine Supreme Court ruling allowing the continued construction of the Torre De Manila echoed the contradictions on the ruling of the Supreme Court.

Though the Knight of Rizal (KOR) main office issued a statement “ respecting the SC decision), I beg to disagree.

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The SC ruling, though it is legal and binding lacks morals and ignore the public opinion. Actually, it’s a decision that upholds the primacy of private property and give preference to the rich an the powerful.

IT is also a slap in the face of the Knights of Rizal (KOR) saying that it lacks the personality to file a case.

Well, it might be true, for the custodians of public welfare and morals allowed the egregious construction of the Torre De Manila in the first place.

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Thus, the blame must be placed squarely to the City of Manila especially Manila Mayor Erap Estrada for allowing the construction of the tower that replaced the Jai-Alai of Manila.

But what can we do? The City of Manila is in the warpath of destroying historical buildings .

It has demolished landmarks like the Jai Alai building, the Army-navy Club and others and the National Historical bodies is inutile to stop it. It eyes are now trained on the Rizal Memorial Sports Center and want to replace the sports center with a mall.

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday junked a petition to halt construction of a controversial building within the line of sight of the Rizal Monument, a historic and well-known tourist landmark.

Supreme Court Spokesperson Theodore Te said that the justices voted 9-6, saying that there was no law prohibiting the construction of the Torre de Manila condominium in Manila.

“One, the Court has no jurisdiction over the subject matter. Two, the petitioners have no standing to sue. And three, they stand
to suffer no injury,” Te said in a press briefing.

“Furthermore, the Court also found that there is no law that prohibits the construction of the challenged Torre de Manila project,” he said, adding that the TRO against it would be lifted.

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The Torre de Manila construction on Taft Avenue sparked protest among the public when people found that it marred their view of the Rizal Monument. The building is over two kilometers away from the landmark.

The petition to stop the Torre de Manila construction was filed on September 2014 by the Order of the Knights of Rizal, a civic group established in 1911 to uphold the ideals of national hero Jose Rizal. In their petition, they requested the Supreme Court to order the condominium’s developer DMCI Homes, to halt construction.

The Knights of Rizal argued that the placement of the building ruins the sight line behind the Rizal Monument, thus devaluing the historic site, and that it violated Manila zoning laws.

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The group said it respected the decision of the Supreme Court on its “test case for Philippine heritage” and thanked the public for its support.

“The public support that was expressed in favor of our stand was an indication not only of the importance of the National Monument but also to the continued relevance and reverence our National Hero, Jose Rizal still enjoys,” the Knights of Rizal said in a statement Tuesday.

The Court ruling was welcomed by the Torre de Manila developer, calling the decision “fair and just.”

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“We will immediately resume construction to finally end the undue suffering of our stakeholders, most especially our workers and future residents who depended on our commitment to complete the project,” DMCI Homes said in their statement.

The Rizal Monument marks the exact spot on which national hero Jose Rizal was shot by a Spanish firing squad on December 30, 1896.

The Manila zoning board approved the continuation of the project in January 2014 after it had been suspended in November 2013 for violating zoning laws.

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The nine Justices who voted for the ruling were Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, Justices Antonio Carpio, Presbitero Velasco Jr., Lucas Bersamin, Mariano del Castillo, Bienvenido Reyes, Estelita Perlas-Bernabe, Marvic Leonen, and Noel Tijam, said Te.

Those who voted against the ruling were Justices Teresita de Castro, Diosdado Peralta, Jose Mendoza, Francis Jardeleza, Alfredo Caguioa, and Samuel Martires, he added.

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And the so-called Court of the Last Resort is also inutile to do anything about it because of legal niceties.

It is more concerned with the “letter of the law” than the “spirit of the law.” . More on the legalities and technicalities than the morality of their action.

“The Philippine Supreme Court exemlifies the injustice in the Philippines. The Supreme Court freed the plunderers like PGMA . She was recently cleared of plunder of by the unjust Supreme Court,

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The same Supreme Court that released Juan Ponce Enrile for “humanitarian reasons.” The court that overturns decisions like the Vizconde case. That allowed a dictator to be buried in the heroes cemetery. That might unseat a sitting vice-president in favor of a dictator’’s son who can pay the court fees.

People should know that the Philippine Supreme Court is a creation of American authorities that occupied the Philippines and made it as its first colonies and paid for it in a treaty with Spain in 1898. Actually, its first decision was to hanged Philippine revolutionaries as “bandits”

Thus to go to the Supreme Court is foolhardy and to submit to the executioner’s chamber. It’s an exercise in futility.

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That is why Filipinos loved the “Ang Probinsyano” and can relate with it and loved to watch it. At least in the telenovelas they can be served justice, if only in virtual reality and not in reality.

Kahit man lang sa TV may hustisya kaysa sa tunay na buhay na walang hustisya.

Sometimes films and telenovelas mirrors the reality.

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