Former MTRCB head Manoling Morato dies at 87

Mario Dumaual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 30 2021 09:23 PM | Updated as of Jul 31 2021 08:37 AM

Manuel “Manoling” Morato, former head of the Movie and TV Review and Classifications Board (MTRCB) and board director of the Philippines Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), passed away on Friday at 87. 

Morato died at 2:30 in the afternoon at a Quezon City hospital due to COVID-19, his family told ABS-CBN News.

Morato’s family said they did not expect the fast deterioration of his health leading to his death, four days after his hospital admission. 

Considered a firebrand, Morato figured in many skirmishes with showbiz and political personalities with his stand on moral and political issues. 

His political stint was also memorable, first as a senatorial candidate, followed by a presidential run against Joseph Estrada in the 90s. 

Morato continued his media career as a columnist and host with Maggie de la Riva in the talk show “Dial M”, where his views and commentaries became fodder for controversies. 

“I am very sad at his passing. Sayang! We’ll all miss him," de la Riva said. “He is a frank and controversial person but at heart he is a kind and nice man. And he is honest. Lahat ng bintang sa kanya, hindi totoo. I will pray for him and his family.” 

Morato’s grandnephew, actor Jake Cuenca, told ABS-CBN News that he is still in shock at his demise. 

“Ang bilis, a matter of a week! It took us all by surprise because usually he overcomes challenges,“ said Cuenca, who last saw Morato at a Christmas family reunion last year. 

Cuenca wants Morato to be remembered for his kindness. “Ang dami niyang natulungang tao, kasama na ang pamilya namin,” he said.

The Morato family is still finalizing funeral arrangements.