As the nation is set to commemorate the 154th birth anniversary of Andres Bonifacio on Nov. 30, his monument in West Rembo, Makati, has been toppled by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to make way for the road project linking Bonifacio Global City in Taguig and Ortigas Center in Pasig.
Ironically, the monument was erected in a park before the original Gate 1 of the Philippine Army camp and headquarters named after the revolutionary and patriot—Fort Bonifacio.
Located inside Makati Park and Garden, the monument was inaugurated in 1997 as a state memorial for the 100th death anniversary of the founder of Katipunan.
It was created by sculptor Juan Sajid Imao, son of National Artist for the Visual Arts Abdulmari Asia Imao. It had a commemorative marker from the National Historical Institute, now the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP).
When the Inquirer checked the construction site, it found the monument tied up to the flag pole. The historical marker had been piled with the debris in a gazebo of the park.
NHCP chair Rene Escalante told the Inquirer the DPWH did not coordinate with the cultural agency about the matter, much less inform it about the demolition.
NHCP deputy director Carminda Arevalo wrote Makati Mayor Abby Binay on Nov. 2 requesting coordination with the city government on the DPWH project, and advising the mayor “not to undertake any work or changes in the area until we approve the development plan.”
But the monument had already been demolished by then.
Marga Calupitan, executive assistant of the Makati government, told the Inquirer the city hall had not formally responded to NHCP since it was still looking into the matter.
NHCP said it had also written DPWH but had not received any reply.
The NHCP Guidelines on Monuments Honoring National Heroes, Illustrious Filipinos and Other Personages states that a monument cannot be relocated if “relocating a monument will mean its destruction; if there was no prior consultation or due process; if the site to relocate the monument is still uncertain, if the new development plans conflict with those of the existing plans.”
Guidelines also states that “additions or renewals on the monument site should only be done to enhance the existing setup, but they should not compete or radically contrast with it, so as not to result in the indiscriminate alteration of the meaning and intention of the site.”
The Inquirer contacted DPWH, but did not receive a reply.