via Inquirer Lifestyle, 02 March 2020: 18th century ruins in Philippines’ Nueva Ecija province demolished by development, despite being presumed as an important cultural property by law.
A large portion of the Spanish-era Commandacia ruins of Bongabon in Nueva Ecija was demolished despite the structure being a presumed important cultural property under the National Heritage Act of 2009.Located at the back of the town plaza, the old structure was made from bricks and rubblework and believed to have been constructed in the 18th century as the political headquarters of the province.
In 2012, a marker was unveiled by the local government and the parish of Saint Francis of Assisi at the site attesting “to the existence of the Spanish Commandancia of Nueva Ecija in the 1700s, marking the antiquity of the town of Bongabon.”The marker further notes “the memory of which shall remain an esteemed symbol of historical and cultural significance and contribute to the positive development of national pride.”
But its section on Rizal Street has been torn down to reportedly give way to an apartment building.
Heritage advocates have condemned the demolition and described is as “unfortunate,” scoring the apparent reactive stance of the government’s cultural agencies on heritage issues like this.