By MANUEL L. MORATÓ
Happy Birthday to my mother
My mother was born on May 25, 1910. She passed away on May 31, 2002 or seventeen years ago at the age of 92 years old. Were she alive today, she would be celebrating her 109th birthday.
As her eldest son, I have a special affection for her. I believe it happens always to the first-born. There is a certain special attachment to a mother; and from the son, in my case, to my mother.
As a dear lady friend dropped me a note recently and said: “It’s May, Our Lady’s month so Our Lord and His mother are listening to us.” She further said: “Please keep the Faith. I know how disappointed you must feel about what your youngest brother had done to you and your sisters when the ancestral home of your mother was demolished. But don’t lose hope, just keep praying. You will see the light at the end of the tunnel. Please keep the Faith. Pray to Our Lady of Guadalupe.”
Our Lady of Guadalupe, Heavenly Patroness of the Philippines, please help us.
My deepest condolences to the family of Jojo
Jojo Robles, an old friend from the days he was still courting his then girlfriend, Gemma Corotan, passed away last Thursday, May 23, 2019. Our friendship dates back for decades. He used to come to my house with Gemma.
Jojo even visited me when I was confined in the hospital, on hospital arrest during the PNoy regime when all the appointees of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, including President Arroyo were falsely charged with something we never did.
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I was only one of the directors of PCSO during PGMA’s presidency for I did not want to be chairman anymore, nor did I want to go back to government service. But the President asked me to help her. I told her “one year po lang.” But I lasted for seven years, up to the day President Arroyo ended her term on June 30, 2010.
I really never intended to stay for seven years. I only wanted to give in to her request for only a year. But the need to help the PCSO was there and I just could not abandon the thousands of poor patients who needed help. The earliest I went back home at night was 11 to 12 midnight. I did not want to leave a single patient unattended to. I finished each day by attending up to the very last patient on the line.
Being the administrator of my late mother’s estate who passed away in May 31, 2002, I hesitated to be reappointed to the PCSO in 2004. I had to attend to my mother’s estate.
So many things happened not to my liking when my youngest brother promised to help attend to our mother’s estate while I was in the PCSO; and when I was confined in the hospital for eight (8) months, released by the Sandiganbayan that I had “no participation” in the PCSO intelligence fund.
That’s when our estate problem began without our knowing what was happening.
Imagine, together with my other siblings, we did not expect one of the six children would take over the entire estate of my mother in the Philippines.
What we really felt bad about is his bad mouthing us in town that he did what he did because we took advantage of him in the properties in Spain that our parents had passed on to the six children.
It was a sister married to a Spanish senator together with another brother who lived in Spain who sold some properties, but divided the proceeds among the six children equally. I told my siblings that in the lifetime of our mother, it was only right that she gets one share too equal to what we will get, as a courtesy to our mother who gave the properties to us.
This is the truth: At the time the properties were passed on to the six of us, the youngest was only a teenager and the Registry of Deeds could not include Jose L. Morato’s name; but there was a document left by my parents that at the age of 21, he can personally request to put his name in the titles. But he did not do it. He is now 70 years old. Is that supposed to be our fault? But at the end of the day, it was not necessary for he got his due share. Nobody cheated him.
Nevertheless, I got all the records of the equal amount Jose L. Morato received. My younger sister in Spain kept all the records intact, thank God. Jose L. Morato received exactly the same amount as the rest of us did. This all happened way back in the 1980s.
On behalf of my three sisters and myself, we assure the public that we are incapable of doing something wrong.
I must admit that I got angry when some properties were sold too early in the 1980s, but it was properly explained and properly divided.