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My apologies

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UNCENSORED
By 
MANUEL L. MORATÓ
My apologies

For the tragedy we have had in the demolition of our ancestral home, a home my father and mother built in the 1950s which was demolished by a group without our permission, I honestly would like to apologize to the owners of Sta. Lucia Land, Inc. whom I’ve mentioned on several occasion as harassing us everyday despite the case we filed in court and a TRO which none of the group obeyed.

The excavation with a noisy backhoe continued which I thought would stop when we took them to court.  A TRO was granted for 20 days and yet it was not honored by the JLM group at malakas daw sila sa Quezon City.

I admit I thought it was the Sta. Lucia Land, Inc. who disregarded the order of the Court; and for this I apologize.  It was not Sta. Lucia’s fault nor its owner, Exy Robles whom I know, but somebody else who was persistent on going on with the project, no matter what, who was giving the order, not Sta. Lucia.

I am big enough to apologize when I have to.

Though the workers and backhoe belong to Sta. Lucia who was chosen to construct the 21-storey condo/hotel in the properties of my parents inside the family compound, a residential area, I now understand who was harassing us all the while.  Imagine to wake up everyday seeing the excavation go deeper and deeper; and the noise just next door for as I said, all this is happening inside our family compound.

In the last hearing we had with the new Barangay Captain of Barangay Sacred Heart, I learned from the kapatas or foreman that it’s JLM who passes eveyday and commands them to dig, dig and dig deeper.  It turned out that it’s not Exy Robles, the contractor, who is a friend of mine as well, but it’s JLM giving the orders on the command of his boss, the “godfather,” who own the property now in the name of our late mother and supposed to be co-owned by the six children.  But I really cannot tell how it all ended up with our youngest brother, JLM, alone; sold it to his partners.

In the course of our dispute regarding the demolishing of the ancestral home of my parents; and the “miraculous” transfer to the name of JLM Trading Corporation, allegedly owned solely by JLM and his wife and children… I’ll let the court decide on that.

Because of our hurt feelings, done to us in our old age as if it was planned against us in our later years, I did comment on how painful to us what’s happening to me and my 3 sisters.  Ako po ang panganay.

For years I’ve been a columnist of Philippine Star for 7 years when I was appointed Chairman of MTRCB by President Cory.  I was invited by Betty Go Belmonte to write a column, and I accepted her request for I used my column to conscientisize a misbehaving film industry.  I did not accept any payment from the newspaper and instead I told Betty to give what I was supposed to receive to the lay-out artist who helped in laying to bed my columns.  But when I was appointed PCSO Chairman in January 1994 by President Ramos, I resigned from the Philippine Star: One, Betty passed away; 2nd reason, my PCSO Chairmanship called for my communicating with the A, B, C & D and the Philippine Star was mostly read by the A and B.  I had to reach out to the A, B, C and D to keep all informed on what and how the PCSO can help the needy, nationwide, including “yong nasa palengke.”

I was accused recently by the other side of violating the subjudice rule.  But let me clarify, every newspaper has a resident Ombudsman who go through the columns of the columnists if it contains libelous contents; or subjudice.  They won’t print or ask the columnist to revise the column.  I was never “censored.”  That’s why the title of my column is “Uncensored.”

Please let me explain why I found the need to explain about our ongoing case in court: Firstly, I was being blamed by so many people for demolishing the ancestral home of our parents.  There was a need to explain that I had absolutely nothing to do in the demolition of our late parents’ home in the compound, including my 3 sisters.  Call it self-defense which we are entitled to, lalo na ako at ako ang kilala ng ating mamamayan sa buong bansa for having served in two very controversial government agencies, MTRCB and PCSO, for 17 years.  I had to speak out in my column to clarify to the public who were blaming me when I had absolutely nothing to do with what happened and still happening now.

Is that supposed to be subjudice?  I was the one being blamed by the public and my youngest brother who did it all was enjoying that I was the one being blamed.  He and his group has done us so much wrong.  Am I supposed to take that sitting down?  I had to explain that I had nothing to do with the destruction of my parents’ ancestral home.  I am entitled to immediately defend myself; and freedom of speech is allowed, especially in defense of one’s honor.

To make it short: We were granted a 20 day TRO in April 2018 by the court, but the parties involved did not honor the order of the Honorable Court.

We could have saved our parents’ ancestral home from being demolished had my youngest brother together with his cohort respected the decision of the court.  They did not.  They went on and disregarded the Order of the Court.

Did we request for the Judge to inhibit from the case for being partial to JLM’s group?  We did not.  We, with my 3 sisters stood up for what is right, presenting evidenciary documents why we have the right to defend the honor of our parents.  Period.  This is not an inheritance case (which is actually and should be), but we owe it to our mother who kept telling us to preserve her house given by our father.  It also says it clearly in her Holographic Will.  Maski raw ibigay niya sa amin lahat ang properties sa estate niya, huwag na huwag lang raw tatanggalin sa pangalan niya ang bahay na regalo ng aming ama sa kanya.  ‘Yon daw lang ang hinihiling niya – to preserve the ancestral home where we all lived in, for the memories of our father.

All her wishes in life was disobeyed by one together with his partners to put up a 21 storey condo/hotel in a residential area; destroying our compound where we lived near each other.

I am sorry if some consider this “subjudice.” We all have obligation in life to stand up for what is right and to fight for the honor of our beloved parents.

By the way, who started it all?

For comments and suggestions email at mlmorato@yahoo.com

(DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in the columns are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of The Philippine Business and News)          

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