Manoling Morato to face charges over 'Dial M'

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 18 2012 05:13 PM | Updated as of May 19 2012 08:25 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) Chairman Manoling Morato is set to face criminal charges for alleged use of public funds for his TV show “Dial M”, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said Friday.

Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez said Morato used his show to campaign for presidential candidate Gilbert Teodoro while issuing negative statements against the electoral campaigns of senatorial candidates Francis Escudero and Teofisto Guingona III in the 2010 elections.

Jimenez said Morato violated Section 261 of the Omnibus Election Code when he made the statement on his show's May 3 and May 5, 2010 episodes.

Section 261 prohibits the use of public funds, money deposit in trust, equipment, facilities, owned and controlled by the government for an election campaign.

The Comelec spokesman said Morato may have violated section 13 of RA 9006 when on January 14, 2010, he made campaign speeches for Teodoro and against Escudero and senatorial candidate Rissa Hontiveros-Baraquel.

The Comelec en banc, in election offense case 11189 promulgated may 9, 2012, instructed its law department to file the appropriate case against Morato in the proper court.