MANILA, Philippines—Former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) Director Manuel L. Morato on Tuesday asked the Sandiganbayan to allow him to post bail in the plunder case filed against him in connection with the alleged embezzlement of P366 million of the PCSO’s intelligence funds when he was a director.
In a 14-page motion for bail filed by his lawyer Dante Diaz, Morato said the evidence against him in the nonbailable crime was almost nil or, at the very least, weak, thus he was constitutionally entitled to post a bond.
He told the court he was not a flight risk considering that he was 78 years old, visually impaired for being totally blind in one eye and also suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD).
“Since personal liberty as guaranteed by the Constitution is at stake, it is but natural that the person in whose favor there is a presumption should be free to continue his normal life outside of confinement or detention in the meantime that his case is being heard,” Morato said.
Aside from Morato, nine others, including former president and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, have been charged with plunder in the Sandiganbayan’s Fifth Division for the alleged misuse of PCSO intelligence funds during the Arroyo administration.