Morato seeks house arrest

by Ron Gagalac, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 12 2012 06:40 PM | Updated as of Nov 13 2012 03:04 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) Chairman and board member Manuel "Manoling" Morato on Monday filed a motion at the Sandiganbayan requesting house arrest instead of being detained at a regular jail.

Morato, who is confined at the St. Luke's Medical Center, wants to be transferred to his house.

He remains under the custody of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

Morato, former President Gloria Arroyo, and a number of other former PCSO and Commission on Audit (COA) officials are facing plunder charges for alleged misuse of PCSO's confidential and intelligence funds.

Morato's motion cited several medical reasons for his request to be transferred to their family's ancestral home in Quezon City.

The house has mini-clinic facilities that were previously used by his ailing mother.

The motion said the 78-year-old Morato underwent triple heart bypass 2 weeks ago, which makes his medical condition delicate.

It said Morato will need at least 6 weeks to recover.

In the attached medical certificate, Morato's cardiologist, Dr. Maria Adelaida Iboleon-Dy, recommends a house environment for her patient.

She said Morato's health requires constant medical supervision and needs life-long monitoring.

The motion also said Morato is legally blind in one eye.

Atty. Dante Diaz, Morato's lawyer, said his client is not a flight risk.

Morato is said to have been unable to care for himself that he could hardly go to bathroom by himself and he needs a nurse.

He also needs to undergo therapy at least 3 times a week, Diaz said.

The motion has been deemed submitted for resolution by the first division of the Sandiganbayan, with initial hearing scheduled on November 15 at 8:30 a.m.