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Ambeth Ocampo defends DMCI’s desecration of Rizal tomb: Really now?

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A major broadsheet featured not one, but two news items directly and tangentially on the Torre de Manila. Both articles tended to favor DMCI with the latter spouting people pleasing statements such as “Heritage and development can co-exist.”

Of course, there wasn’t much by way of counter statements on the side of heritage advocates who could have told that broad sheet that Development and Heritage co-existence are in fact written in the laws that DMCI is alleged to have flouted.

But the more interesting one is that of the second article supposedly on Rizal’s last wishes for his interment and burial. Not for what was written on it, though one wonders why the author timed his article at this time when the case is before the Supreme Court on oral argument instead of bringing it out on… oh, the start of the controversy?

What is interesting is that the author himself is a former chairman of the National Historical Institute, now the National Historical Commission is writing this, at a time when the NHCP is at odds with the Solicitor General.

The NHCP is being held under stricter and scrutiny at this time.  It finds itself in a strange position of siding with the DMCI, despite the constitutional prescription to protect heritage and their own guidelines protecting sightlines and settings.

Furthermore, brought up by no less than DMCI counsel, Atty. Lazatin, is the fact that DMCI’s clearance was endorsed by no less than the Office of the President.

Then there is the matter of the questionable changes to the curatorial work done on the other Rizal Shrines, notably Dapitan and Fort Santiago also by the NHCP. Then there is its alleged inaction and ineffectivity in protecting El Hogar – that magnificent aging dowager empress beside the Pasig. All of these make for very interesting times for that agency.

We should note that the predecessor chairman comes to the rescue of his former agency by writing what appears and feels to be an excuse to disregard the Rizal monument’s setting. That the author writes with all the privilege and authority of a regular columnist of said broadsheet – which he is–  is merely icing on the media watchers’ cake.

Well played, major broadsheet. But not well enough. We see what you did there.