Manoling Morato in NBI custody

Posted at 10/06/12 12:10 AM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) chairman Manuel “Manoling” Morato is now in the custody of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), authorities said Friday night.

Morato is one of the co-accused in the plunder case filed before the Sandiganbayan against former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and several others over the alleged misuse of PCSO funds.

Morato had sent feelers to the NBI indicating that he was ready to surface.

However, Morato is currently confined at the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City due to a heart problem.

Authorities said Morato may undergo heart surgery on Tuesday.

Morato underwent the booking procedure inside his hospital room.

Arroyo, former chairman of the board of director Sergio Valencia, and former PCSO budget and accounts manager Benigno Aguas are already under police custody.

Also facing charges and still at large are former PCSO general manager Rosario Uriarte; former Commission in Audit (COA) chairman Reynaldo Villar; former board members, Jose Taruc V, Raymundo Roquero, and Ma. Fatima Valdez; and Nilda Palaras of COA’s Intelligence Confidential Funds Fraud Audit Unit.

Continuous manhunt operations are being conducted against the missing suspects. -- Report from Maan Macapagal, ABS-CBN News