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PRA chief hit for texting senators to stop asking questions

SENATORS on Monday night rebuked Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA) general manager Cynthia Carrion for sending text messages to senators telling them to “to stop asking questions” on the proposed budget of other departments and prioritize instead the spending request of the Department of Tourism (DOT) for 2024.

The PRA is an attached agency of the DOT.

Among those who got the text messages from Carrion were Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, Deputy minority leader Risa Hontiveros and Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Pia Cayetano.

Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco apologized to the senators on behalf of Carrion, even as she said that she, too, was “shocked” at the “highly inappropriate, unacceptable and out of line actions of the head of the PRA, the recently appointed GM Cynthia Carrion.”

Frasco said he has instructed her chief of staff to look into Carrion’s action to determine the appropriate penalty to be meted on her.

She said she has likewise instructed Carrion to apologize to the senators.

It was Estrada who took to the floor to express his disgust with Carrion, saying it was unethical for her to send text messages to senators telling them to speed up the interpellations on the budget of other departments to give way to the DOT.

“Because according to that department head, she has been here since 1 o’clock (p.m. of Monday), waiting for the budget of their agency to be deliberated upon,” Estrada said.

“May I call the attention of Ms. Cynthia Carrion that we’ve been here working at 9 o’clock in the morning (Monday) waiting for all the budget of the departments to be deliberated upon. We are doing our job, and no one has the right to tell us to stop talking here. You have no right to tell us to do what to do here,” an irked Estrada said.

“Kami nga kahit matagal magtanong si Sen Risa (Even if Sen. Risa takes up much time to ask her questions), we never dared to ask her to stop asking questions. Who are you? Who are you to tell us to stop asking questions?” he added.

Estrada said it was not the first time Carrion texted Cayetano since she also supposedly sent a text message to the lady senator “regarding EJ Obiena’s performance.” He did not elaborate.