Senator Pia Cayetano Calls On NHCP Chair Maria Serena Diokno To Resign Over Torre De Manila Debacle

“Chair Diokno, resign if you cannot defend the Rizal Monument!” That is the first sentence of a message Senator Pia Cayetano posted on her Facebook page earlier, and the latest piece of criticism directed towards the NHCP and its Chair Maria Serena Diokno.

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Senator Pia Cayetano earlier posted a message on her Facebook page in which she calls on NHCP Chair Maria Serena Diokno to resign over her alleged failures in the ongoing Torre De Manila debacle:

“Chair Diokno, resign if you cannot defend the Rizal Monument!

Those occupying the top level positions of the government’s cultural agencies must be willing and able to defend national historic sites.

If one cannot find it in themselves to undertake the legal and moral responsibility to do the same, then that person must resign.

I find it extremely strange that we now have the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) insisting that it cannot defend the Rizal Monument when there are many of us, including the Solicitor General, the defender of the Constitution, who believe that we must and we can protect the Rizal Monument under the Constitution and existing laws.

If the Chair of NHCP cannot get on board with this, as she has blatantly displayed, then she must resign instead of hiring private counsel to defend her inability to perform her job.”

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This political broadside comes only a few days after Solicitor General Florin Hilbay stated that the Office of the Solicitor General will no longer represent the National Historical Commission of the Philippines in the ongoing case against the controversial building that has been nick-named Terror de Manila, filed before the Supreme Court of the Philippines. In his lengthy statement, Hilbay writes that continuing to represent the NHCP would compromise the “OSG’s statutory duty to articulate a legal argument that will best serve its ultimate client, the Republic.”

The OSG has previously issued a position paper in which it declared the Torre de Manila “illegal”, a move that didn’t go down too well with Diokno, who attacked the OSG for backtracking on its earlier position, and complained that Hilbay’s office had assured the NHCP it will be “cleared of responsibility” in its handling of the Torre de Manila case, as apparently there was “clearly no sufficient legal basis” to compel the National Historical Commission of the Philippines to issue a cease and desist order against the project, despite the name of her agency possibly leading the public to think otherwise.

It seems there is only so much blamestorming you can do, and the air is getting thinner for a lot of parties involved with a skyscraper many simply want to see demolished. The case rumbles on…

Read Senator Cayetano’s message on her Facebook page here.

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