via Rappler, 15 September 2023: The construction of Suntrust Ascentia, a 36-story condominium, poses a direct threat to Manila’s historic Santa Ana Church and its unique frescoes, stirring up legal and cultural concerns within the community.
To protect their church, the barangay and the Santa Ana Heritage Tourism Association filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition against the Suntrust Ascentia construction before the Manila Regional Trial Court on March 24.
They argued that government offices failed to uphold the NCHA, which mandates authorization from the NHCP for construction work within the heritage zone and its surrounding buffer zone.
Additionally, they claimed that the Manila local government failed to convene the Santa Ana Histo-Cultural Planning Committee, a requirement under Manila Ordinance No. 8244 of 2011.
The petitioners also contend that the Office of the Building Official of Manila acted without or in excess of its jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion when it issued a building permit in favor of Suntrust in December 2020, despite the absence of a “valid and genuine” barangay construction clearance, permission from the Manila city council, an environmental compliance certificate (ECC), and a heritage impact assessment.