The head of the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP), says the arrest of six women masquerading as nuns at Manila airport last week gives her cause for concern.
“It’s really annoying because now authorities will be stricter with us because they’ll think that we are also fake nuns. I’m disgusted about this,” said Benedictine Sister Mary Johan Mananzan.
Philippine Immigration officials arrested the six Filipino women for attempting to fly to Lebanon. The women, who were wearing nun’s habits, later told authorities they were planning to work as domestic helpers in Beirut. Officials say the women were trying to get round a government ban on Filipinos working in Lebanon. The women were about to board a plane to Hong Kong when they were stopped at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila.
Sister Mananzan said she has no problem if airport authorities subject nuns to the same security procedures as everyone else. “I’m really not in favor of receiving special treatment, but I don’t like people using our sacred habit in order to do wrong,” she said.
She called on authorities to investigate the incident thoroughly. “I think they should really find out who is behind this because this is really terrible,” Sister Mananzan said.
Immigration officer Ronaldo Ledesma said the six women were being sent to Lebanon by illegal recruiters “who will use all tricks and employ every scheme to circumvent our ban.”