Better for Morato to stay in hospital, says heart doctorBy Jerry E. Esplanada
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) Director Manuel L. Morato will have to stay longer at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City where he is under hospital arrest until he is medically stable and safe, his cardiologist said Monday.
Morato, who is in the custody of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), is currently undergoing evaluation, treatment and monitoring for at least four heart ailments, according to his cardiologist, Dr. Ma. Adelaida Iboleon-Dy.
In a two-page medical certificate, a copy of which was obtained by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Dy said there was a “possibility of a potential surgical intervention if the condition cannot be controlled medically.”
Morato has been “diagnosed with cardiac dysrhythmia, valvular heart disease, aortic stenosis, hypertension and chronic pulmonary disease.”
Dy said Morato had been admitted several times in the past at St. Luke’s for symptoms related to these problems.
“Although his valvular heart disease is not uncommon for a 79-year-old, his aortic valve area is in the moderate to severe stage (1.07 cm) with evidence of cardiac enlargement and increased pressure gradients, which considering his arrhythmia, may potentially be fatal if left untreated,” said Dy.
“Morato is therefore advised continued hospital stay while undergoing further treatment and close observation and monitoring until such time that we can assure him of medical stability and safety,” she added.
In a text message, Morato said Dy had conferred with the NBI about his medical condition.
“They’re concerned, among other things, with the small opening in my aortic valve. Normally, it’s three centimeters. But it’s now down to 1.7 cm. I also learned that I have a severe case of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which is blamed on my being a smoker,” he said.
Morato said, “All these medical problems were exacerbated by the tremendous stress that the current PCSO board has made me and my former colleagues undergo.”
“I mean all those lies they flaunted to the public against us, the doctored documents they presented to the Ombudsman to destroy us and make it appear that I am among the most corrupt in the history of Philippine government service,” he said.
According to Morato, he “really took them all seriously and the cruelty of it all we were made to undergo.”
Condition partly controlled
“My condition was partly controlled three years ago, but it deteriorated because of the stress I’m going through,” he said.
He thanked all those who sent text messages, offered prayers and wished him well, including the NBI agents guarding him.
“I just have to bear it, something I’m not used to. But they’re all very proper. I can’t complain about their professionalism,” he added.
Morato has asked the Sandiganbayan to dismiss the plunder charges filed against him by the Ombudsman, citing lack of probable cause.
Saying he was a “victim of political persecution,” he asked the antigraft court’s First Division to recall the arrest warrant it issued against him.
He asserted that he was “a victim, not a suspect” in the plunder case in which former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, five other ex-PCSO officials and two Commission on Audit officers were also charged.