Manila, Philippines – Edward Snowden, the former U.S. National Security Agency contractor who admitted revealing secret surveillance programs to media outlets, and who has been charged with espionage, has reportedly been sighted in Manila, roaming the traffic-ridden streets of the Philippine Metropolis. Manila, as many will recall, has been described as the “gates of hell” in Dan Brown’s latest best-selling book, “Inferno.”
An eyewitness said he saw Snowden dressed as a Catholic nun and entering a gated mansion owned by the Archdiocese of Manila. Analysts surmised that the Catholic Bishops may be unaware that the supposed nun was Snowden because of their lack of skill in picking out cross-dressers from a crowd.
The U.S. Embassy in Manila, upon hearing of the report, immediately filed a formal request with Malacanang Palace, the official residence of Philippine President Noynoy Aquino, for help in bringing Snowden into custody. It was unclear whether the Philippine Government would have the balls to gatecrash the Catholic mansion to search for Snowden. While the Philippine Constitution provides for the separation of church and state, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines remains to be a driving force in the conduct of government affairs. Politicians are constantly fearful that any action on their part that would piss off the bishops will lead to the former’s political demise, as was the case with Presidents Ferdinand Marcos, Joseph Estrada and other high-ranking government officials.
It was not immediately known if Snowden plans to seek political asylum in the Philippines, after several unsuccessful attempts to do so in China, Ecuador, Cuba and Russia.