A Facebook user who regularly passes by the Rizal Monument on his way to work shared an idea of how the high-rise residential building behind it may no longer be considered an eyesore.
Tata Montenegro shared a picture of the iconic landmark he took and said that a friend, Robert Dias, manipulated it in a way that Torre de Manila may not be called a photobomber anymore.
Dias edited the building itself so that it will be exactly aligned with the monument and then envisioned it being painted with the colors of the Philippine flag.
The result impressed social media users but Montenegro said that he is aware there are certain laws protecting the usage of the flag.
“Nasa isang ahensya o opisina na namamahala sa pag-iingat o (nagbabantay) na hindi mababoy ang bandila dahil may batas ‘yan na ‘di basta basta gamitin ang bandila kahit saan,” Montenegro said in an online interview with Interaksyon.
SA CITY COUNCIL NG MAYNILA AT KAY MAYOR ISKO MORENO AT SA MAY-ARI NG BUILDING NA KUNG TAWAGIN PHOTOBOMBER AT LALO NA SA KOMISYON NA NAMAMAHALA NG ATING BANDILA/WATAWAT BAKA PUEDE NA ITONG AKING NAISIP.
There are no explicit provisions on the Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines that state one cannot paint a representation of the national flag on buildings but there is one about products and merchandise.
Section 34. g. states that it is prohibited “to print, paint or attach representation of the flag on handkerchiefs, napkins, cushions, and other articles of merchandise.”
The building is not a form of merchandise.
Why the modification?
It could be recalled that late cultural activist Carlos Celdran lobbied against the construction of the DMCI Homes‘ condominium in 2012, citing that it would mar the sightline of the national hero’s monument.
The building also caught the attention of the Knights of Rizal and Las Damas de Rizal Philippines Inc., that filed a petition to the Supreme Court against its construction.
They called it the “Terror of Manila” instead of Torre de Manila and said it is “offensive” to the national hero and to our national identity.
It was also questioned by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, although it also sided against critics at some point.
The issue was only solved in 2017 when the Supreme Court formally dismissed the petition and stated that there was no law prohibiting the construction.