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Solon wants to turn around Rizal Monument to face Manila

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In an unusual bid to honor the national hero, a Manila representative said he would file a bill to make the monument of Jose Rizal face the city of Manila.


During the House committee hearing on the alleged defacement of the Rizal monument by Torre De Manila on Wednesday, July 1, Congressman Amado Bagatsing raised a different concern about the country’s national hero.

Bagatsing said he could not fathom why the statue of Rizal is facing the sea with his back to the city of Manila when according to history, the icon of the Philippine Revolution against Spanish colonial rule turned to face his executioners in Bagumbayan (now Luneta Park).

The congressman said the statue with his back to the city of Manila is making Rizal appear like a traitor.

Bagatsing said the bill would compel concerned authorities to turn the statue of Rizal to face Manila as the hero did when he faced his executioners.

“Sabi nga ng mga tao buti pa ang kalabaw nakaharap sa siyudad. Eh bakit si Rizal nakatalikod? So it’s up sa National Historical Commissioner to rectify kung may error,” Bagatsing said in an ambush interview.

“To me Rizal is national hero. He should not be classified as a traitor. He should face his accusers and the city. Kaya nga umikot sya noong siya ay tamaan eh. May dahilan kung bakit sya umikot,” he added.

“For me it’s rectifying a national hero kung mali ang pagkakagawa nila… (I will file the bill) as soon as I get a clearance from the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP),” he said.

But National Commission for Culture and the Arts legal counsel Trixie Angeles, also the National Committee on Monuments and Sites vice chair, turned down the proposal.

“Masama na nga tingin natin sa Torre De Manila, ihaharap nyo pa ba doon si Rizal sa kanya?” Angeles said.

Turning the statue 180 degrees would make the monument face the controversial condominium, which destroyed - or photobombed - the line of sight of the Rizal monument.

Angeles said the Rizal monument faces the sea because the sculptor wanted the statue to have a high real estate value as it faces the sea.

“Binibigay natin kay Rizal ang pinakamahalagang real estate sa bansa na nakaharap sya sa dagat… Ang intensyon ng iskultor ay iharap sya sa dagat, ang tubig ay pinahahalagahan natin … Ang real estate value ng property pag nakaharap sa tubig ay mahal,” Angeles said.

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