Electioneering raps filed vs ex-PCSO chair-A A +A
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
MANILA (Updated 12:32 p.m.) -- Electioneering charges were filed on Tuesday against former sweepstakes office board member Manoling Morato for endorsing administration candidates on his defunct television show.
Lawyer Bonifacio Alentajan, who filed the four counts of electioneering before the Commission on Elections (Comelec), said Morato's use of government funds for the 2010 election campaign violated the Omnibus Election Code.
Senator Franklin Drilon, during a Senate hearing into the funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), showed a clip of Morato endorsing administration candidate Gilbert Teodoro Jr. for the 2010 elections on "Dial M" show he used to host.
A clip from the May 5, 2010 of "Dial M," which used to air on government network IBC-13, showed Morato and co-host Maggie Dela Riva wearing pro-Teodoro campaign pins.
It also showed him reminding viewers to the number 8, Teodoro's place on the list of presidential candidates.
Morato later listed the administration party's candidates for senator.
Morato, for his part, said in a television interview that he did not force anyone to vote for a specific candidate.
He said he was just "letting people know that this candidate is running for this position."
"I was a presidential appointee. I was not bound by civil service rule that you cannot campaign for someone," Morato said.
He added the show was reviewed by Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB).
"It was approved by MTRCB. We were never reprimanded for electioneering," he said.
If found guilty, the former PCSO official could face six-year imprisonment and a fine of P6,000 to P12,000 for each count. (Sunnex)