*** Disclaimer ***
The 35 questions by former PCSO Chairman Morato published in this post are allegations and unproven.
It has been more than a year since I’ve last written about politics. I took a time off right after the 2010 elections. However, I do miss my Blogwatch friends. So when Blogwatch was set to interview former PCSO chairman Manoling Morato last May 13, 2011, I took the time to attend it.
There had been a lot of talks going around regarding Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO). It seems like there’s a big conflict between the previous and the current PCSO chairman.
- former PCSO Chairman (2004 to 2010) – Manoling Morato
- current PCSO Chairman (July 2010 to present) – Margie Juico
Since a lucky Filipino carpenter won the 356 million peso jackpot recently, I felt it’s time for me to share what happened during our interview with former PCSO chairman Manoling Morato.
There were a lot of things former PCSO chairman Morato shared. You can really feel how frustrated he is with what is happening with PCSO now. He doesn’t trust current PCSO chairman Juico at all!
In the material he shared to us, there were 35 questions he wanted PCSO to address. Let me share them with you and I want you to be the judge if you believe them.
Here are the 35 questions by former PCSO Chairman Manoling Morato:
It was a 17-page material and I have to summarize some of the questions but these are questions written by former PCSO chairman Morato:
- Why did incumbent PCSO officials headed by Chairman Margie Juico preterminate a valid 50-year PCSO Lease contract with the Philippine Tuberculosis Society of the Quezon Institute for its offices inside the complex, under the pretext that this perfectly sound building may collapse “in case of a strong earthquake?
- How was Chairman Margie Juico able to transfer the 1,200 PCSO employees, records and furniture to the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) using army trucks and soldier in September of 2010, despite the absence of a signed contract of lease between the PCSO and the PICC? The said leased contract was signed only on October 7, 2010.
- Such a transfer is a major decision that requires presidential approval. Was the transfer to PICC approved by President Aquino? If not, it is patently illegal as it cannot be approved by the PCSO board alone since the PCSO was at the time under the Department of Health by virtue of EO 455.
- In 1998, during the administration of President Ramos, I left US$5 million deposited in the Landbank, a government bank. As of June 2010, before we left PCSO on June 30, 2010, it had earned interest totaling almost US$6 million. The present PCSO board transferred said savings to UCPB (a private bank, hence the transaction is against the law) which, according to Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, is in bad shape.
- Chairman Margie Juico, upon assuming office on July 5, 2010 made irresponsible statements on television, radio and print media that the PCSO is “bankrupt” and yet, in the same breath, she paid taxes to the BIR amounting to Php2.9 billion. If indeed the PCSO was “bankrupt”, why did she pay taxes? PCSO tax is based on 10% of sales, meaning to say that the PCSO had an income of Php29 billion.
- Anyone who brags about PCSO’s huge deposits in the bank while patients suffer is causing deception, for it can only mean one thing: The PCSO has failed miserably to live up to its mandate; that the PCSO built up a huge bank deposit for bragging purposes at the expense of extending medical assistance to the poor.
- Chairman Margie Juico had no qualms spending hundreds of millions of Pesos in transferring to the new PCSO offices in the PICC instead of helping poor sick patients. Is this right or justifiable? I believe it is pure and simple mismanagement and a grave violation of its mandate under the PCSO charter.
- There is no need to pass the RH bill. Just leave it to Chairman Margie Juico to reduce the population. A great number of those who are deprived of PCSO medical assistance are dying everyday, nationwide, causing added hardship to the afflicted families deprived of PCSO medical assistance.
- Ang mahihirap ay may karapatan ring mabuhay. Ang mga mayayaman lang ba ang may karapatang mabuhay sa mundong ito?
- Why is Chairman Margie Juico wreaking vengeance against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s appointees in PCSO? Lahat ba ng appointees ni Presidente Arroyo ay masasamang tao? Diba isa rin siyang dating appointee ni Presidente Arroyo noong 2001, but was removed for cause in 2006?
- The office building the PCSO was occupying in the Quezon Institute complex was meant to be the permanent home of the PCSO for 50 years, a lifetime contract, with the option to buy the 6.5 hectares & the buildings “at a reasonable price” as stipulated in the contract approved by President Ramos, signed by Justice Cecilia Munoz-Palma and myself, as approved by the PCSO board and the PTSI board. There is a symbiotic relationship between the Quezon Institute and the PCSO because President Quezon founded the PCSO to support the Quezon Institute Hospital for Tuberculosis patients, Tuberculosis, being the number one killer disease at the time. Under the law, the Quezon Insitute is a permanent beneficiary of the PCSO. Kahit umalis ang PCSO sa Quezon Institute compound, the grant must continue. The Php2 million grant the PCSO was extending monthly to the PTSI-QI was to help support the Quezon Institute Hospital as well as its clinics nationwide. In exchange, the PCSO was given the west wing of the Quezon Institute and the 6.5 hectare land for its use, RENT FREE. Tuberculosis still remains the number 3 killer disease up to now. Bakit ipagdadamot ni Chairman Margie Juico ang tulong sa Quezon Institute?
- When the PCSO, under Chairman Margie Juico, vacated the PTSI-QI premises last September 2010, after only two months in office, she allowed the building to be vandalized, leaving all the permanent improvements that cost tens of millions of pesos to be cannibalized instead of just donating those improvements to the Quezon Institute. The contract stipulates that “all fixed improvements” must remain. The law says so as well. Chairman Juico blamed PCSO security for the vandalization, when, as Chairman, Juico should have properly protected the premises. She alone is to blame for this under the principle of command responsibility.
- The PCSO Clinic and Fund Allocation Department’s were transferred to the Waste Management area of the Quezon City Hall, a very cramped, unsanitary and smelly space for the hundreds of patients who line up daily to request for medical assistance, under the harsh sun and rain without waiting sheds. May mga sakit na, pinaparusahan pa.
- What hurts is when I questioned the transfer to the PICC, Chairman Margie Juico fabricated stories na ayaw kong umalis ang PCSO sa Quezon Institute kase tumatanggap daw ako ng lagay sa Philippine Tuberculosis Society ng Quezon Institute headed by Mrs. Zeneida (Nini) Quezon Avancena whose father, President Manuel L. Quezon was my father’s closest friend from childhood. They remained close friends until the President died of Tuberculosis in Saranac Lake, USA. I cannot take that sitting down, for Chairman Margie Juico’s information, my father was one of President Quezon’s biggest donors to the construction of the Quezon Institute Complex in 1938. He continued to support the hospital thereafter as First Mayor of Quezon City in 1939 with his own personal funds, not with the city government funds. This is the only attachment and personal involvement I have with the Institute.
- Information has reached me that Mr. Alex Lopez, a colleague of Mr. Philip (Popoy) Juico, Chairman Juico’s husband, during his Philippine Sports Commission days, has a backer in purchasing the property left open for sale by Chairman Margie Juico’s arbitrary pretermination of the PCSO 50 year lease contract with 37 more years to go. I was also informed that an incumbent PCSO official will receive 3 condominium units, over and above the promised commission.
- Are the incumbent PCSO officials in the buy and sell business of government-owned lands? Instead of acquiring property for the security of PCSO permanent employees, they are selling out at fire sale prices, when the PCSO is not in need of funds and is not bankrupt despite Chairman Juico’s claims.
- As I previously mentioned, Chairman Margie Juico took over the PCSO like a conquering and vengeful warrior, fully confident that she is “untouchable” claiming on TV, radio and print media that “ka-textmate ko si P-Noy,” which should not even be publicly announced for it is highly improper. As such, everybody on her Board and those appointed with her are so scared due to the great possibility that she can have them all removed. Ika nga, isang text lang sila kay Presidente, if they don’t tow her line. What a social climber!
- The scandal she caused by telling the Ricky Reyes Foundation that runs the “Child Haus” located in the 6.5 hectare PCSO Compound where cancer children stricken are cared for to vacate the building by November 27, 2010, was very cruel, to say the least. An order to cut off the water and light supply caused the children to be attended to by candlelight until PTSI Chairman and President Nini Quezon Avancena graciously extended their stay for another six months, ending May 2011.
- For and on behalf of the PCSO employees who came to me for help as they were unable to complain to the incumbent PCSO officials under pain of dismissal under the Rationalization scheme now pending in the Department of Budget and Management, I filed a petition in the Supreme Court for a thorough investigation on the possible violation of the law as the transfer effected by the incumbent PCSO board is without presidential approval – unless a post-facto approval is sought for now. Hopefully, that does not happen for it is the President who will ultimately be put in bad light.
- I am not criticizing the incumbent PCSO officials. I simply wish for them to do some soul-searching since they are remiss in performing their duties and in complying with the mandate of the PCSO charter, Republic Act 1193.
- The resident COA auditor assigned to the PCSO has been conveniently removed for serving an audit report without clearing it out first with the board something which the resident COA auditor is not obligated to do, the COA being an independent body But as I was informed, said audit report on the expenses incurred in the transfer to the PICC angered the Chairman for not being cleared with her first.
- Several indiscretions committed by Chairman Margie Juico must be looked into. Last September 8, 2010, on the 76th foundation day of the PCSO, Chairman Margie Juico gave a dinner for the 1,200 PCSO employees at the Wack Wack Golf and Country Club for a thousand pesos per plate. According to the employees, ang dami raw sa kanila ang hindi nakakain at kinulang pa kahit mostly spaghetti lang ang handa. That’s only one of the problems. What is doubly questionable is the fact that Philip Juico, husband of Chairman Juico, is the incumbent President of the Wack Wack Gold & Country Club. Definitely, this is a conflict of interest.
- The PCSO is now in the process of dismissing 700 PCSO employees starting with those who were hired as casuals and special agents 10 years ago and below. To me, this move targets those hired during the term of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the former PCSO board. They are being dismissed for not having civil service eligibility, suggested to Chairman Margie Juico by Karina David, former Civil Service Commission chairman, a barkada of Margie Juico who was appointed by her as PCSO consultant. What is bothersome and known to the rank and file, is the fact that the incumbent PCSO officials simply want to replace them with their own people belonging to the Yellow Army.
- If I read the situation in the PCSO correctly, many will be dismissed because of the PCSO’s mismanagement now. The PCSO’s operating fund suffered tremendously when Margie Juico ventured in transferring the PCSO offices to the PICC. She kept on harping that it would cost PCSO less money by transferring to the PICC which proved to be wrong. Ang laki ng ginastos ng PCSO to transfer to the PICC and to other satellite offices all over town, draining the operating fund of the PCSO that only gets 15% of sales. The advantage of being in the Quezon Institute compound is very obvious. It was “rent-free”. The grant in exchange for the use of the 6.5 hectare property including its buildings was charged to the Charity Fund which earns billions of pesos from sales. Thus, the Operating Fund was not strained. As things are now, the rental in the PICC and all other expenses incurred in the relocation are all charged to the Operating Fund. As the Operating Fund gets smaller, the number of employees will now have to be reduced. That’s the reason why many will be dismissed in the coming months.
- Last month, one who was in line at an embassy to get a visa informed me Margie’s brother, Emmet Penson, was overheard saying that he now supplies PCSO with wheelchairs; brother-in-law, Philip “Popoy” Juico (Margie’s husband) is now in-charge of the substantial PCSO PR fund. Philip Juico allocated the PR funds and makes the General Manager sign. The GM is masunurin and does what he is told to do. Margie’s son, Vincent Juico, is her chief of staff. And the other son who is a Quezon City Councilor, Joseph Juico, holds office in the Executive Secretary’s office in Malacanang on a peso-a-year token salary, para harangin daw lahat ng complaints against his mother para hindi makarating kay President Aquino. All bases are covered.
- It’s time for PCSO rank and file employees to make the next move before most of them are weeded out of that office with the flimsy accusation na tauhan yan ni Presidente Arroyo, tauhan yan ni so and so, and tauhan yan ni Manoling Morato. Most of those who are being persecuted in the PCSO were already there even before our time. If they served us well, wala naman pong masam kasi we were also fair and good to them. Trabaho lang at common decency ito. This rule of vengeance, hatred and vindictiveness must end for it is inhuman and counter productive for everyone.
- Last May 7, 2011, Channel 2 aired the “Ted Failon Special Report” regarding poor patients requesting for PCSO Medical Assistance at the PCSO clinic in the Waste Management Department in Quezon City Hall where hundreds congregate everyday. Chairman Juico blurted out so many accusations running into the billions without specifying in whose terms they happened. If I recall correctly, and if the records have not been lost in the sudden transfer to the PICC, the “ghost” TV commercials she spoke about happened during her term as director in 2001 to 2003. I was reappointed to the PCSO by President Gloria in 2004. So if there’s an investigation, siya ang sasabit doon, hindi ako.
- Chairman Margie Juico blurted out about the so-called “ghost” TV commercials when her husband, Philip Juico was guilty of it too. But she did not mention when they happened, in whose term they happened, and who are the ones responsible.
- Nakakatawa ang sinabi ni Chairman Margie Juico sa interview ni Ted Failon. Sabi niya: I always tell my board that “my board is above board.” Is it really above board, Margie? Above board ba itong pinaggagawa ninyo? Above board ba ang pag-alis mo sa PCSO-QI cancelling a valid 50-year contract? Above board ba ang paglipat ng PCSO sa PICC? Above board ba na ang dami ng namamatay na mga pasiyente sa kamay ninyo? Is killing people now “above board” dahil nagtitipid ka?
- When Margie Juico was not able to get DOH Secretary Ona’s approval for the transfer to PICC (EO 455-August 22, 2005, transfer of PCSO from DSWD to DOH which placed the PCSO’s supervision under Department of Health), she rushed to Malacanang and had the DOH supervision on the PCSO removed by P-Noy through EO14, November 19, 2010, and transfer the PCSO from DOH to the office of the President.
- Margie Juico hired the PR firm of her dear friend “for the reputation management of Chairman Margie Juico, PCSO.” I have a copy of the contract. Bawal sa batas gastusin ang PR fund ng PCSO for the “reputation management of Chairman Margie Juico” for the PR fund is strictly for the promotion of the PCSO products such as the lotto and the Sweepstakes, not for Margie Juico to smell good and look good before the eyes of the people when she is actually the opposite of what she tries so hard to project.
- Php 300 million was earmarked for the PR expenses, and charged to the PCSO. Because of this, sinisiraan ako sa mga tabloids na madali niyang mabili. Lately, frontpage ako sa tatlong tabloids na may isang “Fely L” raw akong kaibigan na tagalagay ko raw ng pera sa aking “foundation.” Unang-una, wala po akong kakilalang “Fely L.” Wala rin po akong “foundation.” At higit sa lahat, hinahamon ko si Margie Juico na tanungin ang lahat ng empleyado ng PCSO sa buong bansa kung anong klaseng tao ako, at kung anong klaseng tao si Margie Juico.
- Pilit akong sinisiraan ni Margie Juico ngayon sa mga tabloids at hindi kinakagat ng mga disenteng diyaryo ang mga pakana niya kontra sa akin.
- Marami kayong pananagutan sa paglipat ninyo sa PICC; pagkansela ng 50-year lease contract ng PCSO sa Quezon Institute; sa hindi ninyo pagbayad sa mga ospital subalit allotted na ang pondong pambayad. Ayaw ninyo i-release para magamit mo lang ang paninira na malaki ang utang ng PCSO sa mga ospital, nationwide. It’s your duty to pay those accounts, dahil ikaw na ang namumuno sa PCSO at ikaw ang may hawak ng pondo. Alam mong Php7 billion sa bangko ang PCSO, but you refuse to let go of it.
- Chairman Margie Juico, you slandered and belittled the “Pangarap Kong Jackpot” at “Kroko” ni Carlo J. Caparas.
In the spirit of fairness, Blogwatch organized an interview with PCSO Chairman Margie Juico the week after. Unfortunately, it was scheduled during office hours and I wasn’t able to attend.
I’m not clear if chairman Juico was able to address all questions as I believe there was limited time in the interview. Here’s the recording of the interview for your reference:
This is definitely a case of he said, she said. I wasn’t able to meet PCSO chairman Margie Juico so I don’t have the right to judge. I really just hope that whatever former PCSO chairman Manoling Morato shared weren’t true. Because if those were true, then I feel so bad for the countless Filipinos seeking help from PCSO for their medical needs.