By Manuel L. Morato
I don’t know what induced Pia Morato Baretto to file a case of Cyber Libel against me for a column I had written about the landgrabbing of my late mother’s properties wherein the ancestral home of my parents once stood constructed by my late father in the 1950s.
This property in the name of our mother was over 70 years old and there is a law that prohibits the demolition of structures 50 years and above. Republic Act 10066 prohibits what happened to my parents properties just because the Belmontes are sitting in power. Not only was the six bedroom house demolished, but the group that landgrabbed my mother’s properties stole all the estate properties of our mother inside the house including the documents of my mother and father.
Pia, your move to sue me with Cyber Libel was a distorted move. Just because you are in the office of Joy Belmonte Alimurung, your close gangmate whose family I’ve been close to for over forty years – before!
Your anger is misplaced Pia. Your irresponsible acts in defending your irresponsible father, my youngest brother (73) is unfortunate.
Our case in Court is fully documented more of which are falsified documents. You are part of the dastardly take over of your father as well as your mother Peewee, your sister Patricia and brother Paolo. That was totally cruel without regard nor respect to my late father, Tomas B. Morato; and mother Consuelo Eclavea Lim Morato.
Bakit ka sumasawsaw sa aming kaso? Hindi ka naman “heiress” ng aming magulang. You are nothing. You succeeded however in involving the 3rd generation which is a matter of delicadeza. Hindi kayo kasali sa ginawa ng ama mo sa aming magkakapatid na compulsory heirs of my late mother. Dahil sa ginawa mo, you involved all the 3rd generation. Kasi dapat kami lang na anak ng aming magulang ang may karapatan sa estate ng aming magulang.
The estate of Papa, Tomas B. Morato was finished way back in 1969. What concerns us all is the estate of our mother of which you are not a party, but guilty in the sense na involve ka sa takeover ng ama mo at pagnakaw ng ari-arian naming apat na magkakapatid, my three sisters Elvira Morato Cuenca, Teresita Morato Lazatin and Lolita Morato Quiros. The 5th son, Francisco, we do not know where he stands. He filed the case with us against your father in April of 2018. But according to information, he sold out to your father. Let’s hope he did not all the way. Maybe partially, but for sure he did not sell out completely and still expects what’s due him as compulsory heir of our mother.
Did you, Pia, expect na I will not call your attention for what you did, knowing your participation in this crime committed by your father, your mother, you and your other sister Patricia and Paolo… against us legitimate heirs of our mother, Consuelo Eclavea Lim de Morato? You are wrong, but so be it. We are told that it’s difficult to defend the honor of our father and mother because as I was told, “nakasandal kayo sa pader” ng mga Belmonte. And you are now in the office of Joy Belmonte precisely para awayin mo kami kasi kayo ng ama mo ang nagbenta ng properties ng aming Ina sa mga Belmonte through falsified documents that my mother “sold”(?) her properties to your father? My mother will never do that for it will run contrary to her Holographic Will; and the documents he and his lawyer presented in Court are all falsified, some with forced in thumb marks. Your father used all tricks to deceive our mother.
Be that as it may, we have no choice but to honor our parents, more so that I am the Executor of my mother’s estate.
When my father died in 1965, I, too, was compelled to honor and defend the Holographic Will of my father.
Let me give you a bit of information on how your father, Jose L. Morato, manipulated my mother’s properties.
Number one: Your father is trying to destroy the Holographic Will of my mother by presenting a letter written by my auntie, Celeste, who was the secretary of my mother; to prove that the letter written by my auntie is the handwriting of our mother. It was a letter to General Tanaka to release our father from Fort Santiago. My father as Mayor of Quezon City was incarcerated simply for being the closest friend of President Quezon. But my mother could not write the letter for she was bedridden. She had a difficult pregnancy on the 5th child, Francisco in 1942.
Number two: He kept scaring my mother to transfer all her properties to a closed corporation among the six children and my mother. The plan of your father, Jose L. Morato since 1999 when he proposed it to my mother and to us was to save us from “huge” inheritance taxes. Jose L. Morato manipulated our mother behind our back by getting my mother’s signature on blank short bond paper; and in making her thumb mark documents never shown to us, neither in our presence nor in the presence of a Notary Public.
The Javea Properties Corporation was the “brain-child” of your father, Pia. We only agreed because of his written assurance that he will live up to the following agreement:
“(1.) I proposed that since the Corporation is a closed Corporation, we can work via a Board Resolution to sell all provincial properties first.”
“(2.) That an internal agreement be made also selling all the properties in Spain, such as Granadella, etc. and all properties in Quezon and Camarines province.”
“(3.) Board Resolution to divide Q.C. properties but to sell among us only and not to third parties.”
“(4.) Javea Properties Corporation need not be dissolved to do this cause it has a good joint venture were we can bear good fruits from it. Continue with the Joint Venture there’s really no need to dissolve Javea Properties Corporation in order to deal with the other properties not included in the Joint Venture.”
“(5.) We cannot marry the Deed of Sale with Extra Judicial settlement together because Mama can no longer sign another Deed of Sale. So everything and solution will revolve within the Board Resolution for what’s beneficial from all thru the Deed of Sale of Mama of her properties to Javea which in effect is to us six also.”
“(6.) We can use the Deed of Donation to me for which what was donated to me by Mama is out of the Deed of Sale and out of Extra Judicial since she donated that to me when she was alive. Having my property out of the mess, with your and Elvira’s share we cover the house and part of the garden.”
“(7.) For those in Spain money from sale can be given to them without problem and certify it’s an inheritance no problem here.”
This handwritten letter was addressed to me, which I informed my mother, my three sisters and a brother.
I have some 50 handwritten letters from him one of which he invoked that we can only sell the properties within and only amongst us 6 brothers and sisters. There was no need to include our mother for she owned it all; and she is not one who sells anything she inherited from our father.
Why was he the first one to violate the agreement? An agreement he himself promised us that we cannot sell to outsiders… only among us. How come he was the first one to violate the promised agreement by selling my mother’s properties to the Belmontes? This was witnessed by Exy Robles of Sta. Lucia Builders who told me that he was present with your father when Sonny Belmonte paid your father in cash for the property of my mother. Why was it not sold to us?
On my part, I sincerely believed what he was telling us, just to find out that he was lying to me that my sisters were quarreling with his wife. I take back all the letters I wrote in his favor for I soon realized he was resorting to a strategy of “divide and rule;” with me on his side against my own sisters. Jose L. Morato lied to me; and whatever typewritten letters I did in supporting him I take back for he lied to me about my sisters. None of what he told me was true. He intentionally did it to divide and rule, so much so that I had asked my sisters for forgiveness.
Briefly, what he did to my mother and us five sisters and brothers in forming a closed corporation, Javea Properties Corporation, I liken to a cowboy lassoing the cows and sheeps to a cage in order to control us from within.
Now he claims that he bought all my mother’s shares; that I issued a “Waiver of Rights” which was super-imposed in a document when I was in the hospital. I am not crazy to give up my inheritance.
Now he comes out with a document showing that the majority shareholders are now owned by his daughters Pia and Patricia, son Paolo, their kusinera (cook) Miriam and driver, Sonny. Akala niya nawala na ang control namin sa Javea Properties Corporation.
I ask you, Pia, one question: How did you get to own 3,500 shares of my mother’s closed corporation which only included the six of us, her children, her compulsory heirs? We know that you played a role easing us out, legitimate and compulsory heirs of my mother. How did you, your sister and your brother ended up as heirs of my mother?
Explain what your father did to us.
Wala kayong pakialam sa estate ng aming Ina. Bakit ka sumasawsaw? Dahil sa amo mong si Joy Belmonte Alimurung na ibinenta ninyo sa kanila ang ari-arian ng aming Ina? Di ba nakaw ang ginawa ninyo sa aming limang magkakapatid? And you have the gall to get angry when you are one of the culprits? Pati yong bigay ng Papa sa lahat ng anak na house and lot ibinenta ninyo kay Joy upang may dahilan kayo lumipat sa bahay ng aming Ina nong namatay ang aming Ama in 1965. Hindi namin dapat kayo pinayagan at minamaniobra ninyo ang aming Ina. I lived with Mama up to 1969 when I moved over when my building was finished. It was thereafter that you stayed with her, unfortunately.
Sayang lang ang lahat na naitulong ko sa iyo. I truly regret it. Tell your lawyer that I can only go on zoom hearing on the 21st of July at 11:00 A.M. for I am not allowed to go out by my doctor.
You don’t know how painful it is for us, my three sisters and myself to have witnessed the demolition of the house of our mother; and the stealing of all her things inside, throwing the family pictures on top of my grand piano away in the basura.
Up to now, we are tortured and saddened by the 21 storey building being constructed in place of our mother’s residence, everyday.
When there is truth in what I have written and documented at that, there is NO libel.
I leave it up to Divine Justice.
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