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Recto jokes Pernia: He would’ve been a cardinal by now but failed vow of chastity ‘big time’

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Socioeconomic planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia could have been a man of cloth if he did not break one of the most important vows a priest must make, Senate Minority Leader Ralph Recto said.

During Pernia’s confirmation hearing before the Commission on Appointments Wednesday (Dec. 7), Recto said the Socioeconomic planning secretary could have been a bishop or cardinal by now since he has two divinity-related academic degrees from the University of Santo Tomas Central Seminary in Manila and San Carlos Seminary.

Then he joked Pernia: “I have no inkling of his own ‘road to Damascus’ experience, but let me hazard a guess. He hurdled the vow of poverty, easily. But he failed the vow of chastity, big time, for splendid reasons, because the beautiful Mrs. Pernia is an intellectual peer of his.”

Pernia is married to University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication dean Dr. Elena Pernia.

Despite pursuing a career in economics, Recto said Pernia continues to serve the church as a lay leader in a community in Quezon City.