Former PCSO chair Manoling Morato justifies giving bishops SUVs

( Former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) chair Manuel "Manoling" Morato maintains that there is nothing wrong with giving away sports utility vehicles (SUVs) to Catholic bishops and ambulances to local officials especially if they cannot afford them, reports ABS-CBN News.


According to Morato, giving free ambulances to officials was a management call by the former PCSO board of directors despite the PCSO policy that beneficiaries have to shoulder at least 40 percent of the cost. "There are some municipalities that are poor and we give it 100 percent," he told ANC's "Dateline Philippines," adding that cities and areas that can afford the cost still pay a percentage of the total price.


Morato also denied allegations that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo gave bishops seven Mitsubishi Pajeros to rally them over to her side. He added that bishops were indeed given four SUVs but only to aid them in their missions. "The headlines say Pajero daw ang binigay, to make it sound terrible that they are luxurious. Hindi eh. They are utility vehicles. We evaluated their needs and they report also where they are using it," he said, adding that the vehicles are still monitored even after they’ve been given away.


Morato also carped at the current PCSO board for paying Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao seven ambulances for his services in a PCSO ad. "We are not complaining but what are they saying? Kasi gagawa daw ng commercial but why get a very expensive individual to make a commercial? Mahal yun pero nagbigay sila ng (It's expensive but they still gave) seven ambulances."



In a Philippine Daily Inquirer report, Morato slammed current PCSO chair Margarita Juico, who made the claim that bishops were given Pajeros and a portion of the agency's charity funds. Morato said Juico was "lying through her teeth." He added, "I don't know where she got her figures, she is really good at inventing them. These are all lies, she is hiding the truth."


For more on this story, log on to ABS-CBN News and the Philippine Daily Inquirer.


Manoling Morato explained his side on GMA’s Balitanghali yesterday

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