Morato cries persecution over PCSO plunder caseBy Gil C. Cabacungan Jr.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines — “Why persecute me?”
This was the immediate reply of former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office director Manoling Morato to his inclusion in the plunder charges filed by the Ombudsman against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and other officers and directors of the institution.
“The use and release of the intelligence funds are between the President and the PCSO president. I’m only a director from 2004 to 2010, our job is only ministerial. How can we override something which has already been approved by the main parties concerned?” said Morato in a phone interview.
Morato side-stepped questions on what legal actions he would to take to stop his impending imprisonment as plunder charges would be non-bailable. “What can I do? What explanation do they want? We acted in good faith in using the funds for blood money,” said Morato, referring to the use of PCSO funds as blood money to save Filipino workers from Saudi Arabia’s death row.
The alleged misuse of PCSO funds by Arroyo and her officials covered several transactions, including the payment of blood money.
He said his inclusion in the charge sheet was unjustifiable and that it was largely meant as “payback” for being one of the loudest critics of President Aquino during the 2010 campaign.