- Former Movie and TV Review and Classifications Board (MTRCB) head and Philippines Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) chairman and later Board of Trustees director, Manuel “Manoling” Morato, has died
- His family revealed that he died Friday afternoon, July 30, at a hospital in Quezon City and that the cause of his death are health complications due to COVID-19
- Actor Jake Cuenca, Morato’s grandnephew, expressed shock at Manoling’s sudden demise
- Manoling Morato is known for his firm positions on various moral and political issues
Manuel “Manoling” Morato, a well-known former government official, political candidate, columnist, and TV host, succumbed to health complications due to COVID-19 this Friday afternoon, July 30.
The 87-year-old former Movie and TV Review and Classifications Board (MTRCB) head was admitted to a hospital in Quezon City four days ago.
His family revealed that they did not expect Morato’s health to rapidly deteriorate just a few days after his admission, which eventually culminated in his death around 2:30 in the afternoon.
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,” the actor said.
When he was still in the MTRCB, his position on morality has caused him to figure in skirmishes with famous showbiz personalities, including multi-awarded directors like the late Lino Brocka and Behn Cervantes.
In 1995, former President Fidel Ramos appointed Morato as Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) chairman.
It was during Morato’s incumbency as chairman that the online lottery game, more popularly known as Lotto, was launched.
Almost a decade later, he was appointed by then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as one of the directors of the PCSO Board of Trustees.
Even when he’s no longer in the government service, Morato has always attracted controversies, often leading him to cross swords with many known personalities.
However, his grandnephew, Jake Cuenca, said that contrary to what many believe, his granduncle is very kind and generous.
“Ang dami niyang natulungang tao, kasama na ang pamilya namin,” Jake revealed.
He admitted feeling shocked and sad at the same time at Morato’s sudden demise.
Amid the family’s grief, Jake wanted people to remember his granduncle for his kindness.
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Manuel Morato, better known as Manoling Morato, was a former top government official in the Philippines, politician, columnist, and TV host. He was born on November 17, 1933 and died on the afternoon of July 30, 2021 due to health complications resulting from COVID-19 infection. After his stint as MTRCB Head, he ran for the Philippine Senate during the 1992 elections but did not make it. In 1995, he was appointed as the PCSO Chairman. During the 1998 elections, he again threw his hat into the political ring, running for President, but also lost to then Vice-President Joseph Estrada. He again ran for senator during the 2001 elections but once again, did not make it. In 2004, he was appointed by then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as one of the directors of the PCSO Board of Trustees. In 2011, his name again hugged the headline when the Philippine Senate allegedly discovered that under Morato’s leadership, the PCSO was not able to release funds to non-Catholic organizations. A claim that he disputed, saying other religions are allowed access to the same kind of PCSO assistance.
Manoling Morato is not the only well-known personality who died from COVID-19. In April, the Philippine entertainment world was shocked at the death of Victor Wood, a popular singer of the 70s. Regarded as the Jukebox King of the 70s, Wood succumbed to COVID-19 on April 23. The singer, who left behind a string of hits and an unreleased movie about the colorful life he led, was 74 years old. His movie, “The Victor Wood Story” is yet to be released.
As if Victor Wood’s death is not enough, the Philippine showbiz industry was again stunned at the sudden demise of veteran director, Toto Natividad due to complications brought about by COVID-19. The director's family has created a fundraising account to help with the hospital bills after he was hospitalized due to the virus. According to the GOFUNDME page, Natividad was diagnosed with severe COVID-19 pneumonia and acute renal failure. Mayor of Navotas City, Toby Tiangco has made the announcement of Natividad's passing on his Facebook page as the director was also the barangay chief of North Bay Boulevard South NBBS Kaunlaran in Navotas City.
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