MANILA, Philippines — Former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) chairman Manuel “Manoling” Morato admitted during a Senate hearing that when he was PCSO chairman, he was “completely controlled” and dictated upon by the Office of the President.
Morato made this admission during Tuesday’s hearing of the blue ribbon committee on the alleged irregularities in the use of funds of the PCSO by its previous management.
“During my time your honor, I was completely controlled by the Office of the President,” said Morato, who was PCSO chairman during the time of former President Fidel Ramos, and a member of the board during the time of then President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
“Are you saying that you are incompetent to testify here..? That you are wasting the time of this committee?” asked Senate Juan Ponce-Enrile, who openly expressed his disgust at Morato’s failure to answer some of his queries.
“No your honor. What I meant is everything that happened during my time as chairman was fully upon the instruction of the Office of the President. I did not have the freedom that I do have now,” Morato said.
“Are you saying that you were being dictated upon by the Office of the President,” Enrile asked again to which Morato aswered, “That’s correct sir.”
Morato also admitted, on Enrile’s questioning, that he had never objected to the “dictation” of Malacanang.
“Did you love your job so much that you cant say no?” asked Enrile.
“No, I never wanted this job. I turned it down, at kinagalitan po ako. Tanggapin ko raw yung chairmanship your honor nag-away po kami ng Presidente. Ayaw ko pong pumasok sa gobyerno nagalit po sya ng hindi ko tanggapin then finally I accepted just to help. Wala po akong hilig sa gbyerno. Ayaw na ayaw ko po. Lahat po ng pwesto ko sa gobyerno pinilit po sa akin,”he said, referring to Ramos.
Morato said he did not also ask his positions as member of the PCSO board of directors and chairman of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board during the time of Arroyo.
“At ayaw ko na po. Never would I accept a government appoint ever again. Never,” he added.