TV show exposes former PCSO chief’s use of funds for poll purposes
MANILA, Philippines – A television show then being hosted by former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Manuel “Manoling” Morato was played in a Senate hearing on Tuesday to show how he used the funds of the agency to openly campaign for defeated presidential bet Gilberto Teodoro and other candidates of the previous administration.
The PCSO spent P5 million for the replay of the “Dial M” over government television network, IBC-13. The show was originally aired at another government network, PTV-4.
It was Senator Franklin Drilon, who played a portion of the show, during the hearing of the Senate blue ribbon committee on Tuesday. Morato was present in the hearing.
At the start, Drilon noted the “Gibo [Teodor’s monikcer] ribbons” that Morato and his co-host, Maggie dela Riva, were wearing during the show.
In the video, Morato openly criticized Senators Francis “Chiz” Escudero and Teofisto Guingona III, who ran with then opposition group led by now President Benigno Aquino III.
“Itong si Chiz Escudero ang lamya pang magsalita [This Chiz Escudero speaks in a soft manner],” Morato said and at one point, described the senator, who looked like a “drug addict” because he was in the House of Representatives.
Morato meanwhile described Guingona as someone, who always keeps on shouting. Guingona was at the hearing, being the head of the blue ribbon committee.
Those kinds of people, Morato said, should not be elected to the Senate.
While he openly attacked the opposition candidates, Morato also openly endorsed the candidacies of Teodoro, who lost to now President Benigno Aquino III, and his defeated vice presidential bet, actor Edu Manzano.
Drilon said he showed the video just to show the “extent of abuses” committed by the previous PCSO management.
“I don’t know what got in to your head to disregard election laws,” Drilon told Morato, who was just smiling while the video was being played in the hearing.
When asked for comment, Morato offered no apologies for campaigning for his candidates but acknowledged his mistake for signing the resolution , which allowed the use of PCSO funds for this purpose.
But Morato said that the show contained four commercials promoting the interests of the agency.
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