Filipinos are best security for Pope
But for the head of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), Filipinos will have to do their part to keep safe a pope who wants to be close to the masses.
"I think the best security plan for Pope Francis would be 5 million Filipinos attending mass in Luneta and taking care of one another,” Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said on Monday, January 12, during a papal visit conversation organized by the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Villegas, a member of the papal visit committee, said he is “satisfied” with the preparations of the government, who is “doing everything humanly possible” to secure the Pope.
"I don't think the PSG [Presidential Security Group], the military, [and] the PNP [Philippine National Police] can adequately provide security for the Pope and for all of us. It would be the personal commitment of each one to be caring for one another,” Villegas added.
The much awaited 5-day visit of the Pope is expected to draw an estimated 6 million people, bigger than the crowd of 5 million who welcomed Pope John Paul II in 1995.
"The papal visit should become the most loving event in Metro Manila and in Tacloban, and the one to do that would be the millions of people who want to see Pope Francis,” Villegas said.
Since the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II in 1981, popemobiles have been fitted with bulletproof glass.
But for the upcoming trip, Pope Francis preferred a popemobile that is open and not bulletproof. A total of 3 vehicles will bring Francis to different places in Metro Manila and Leyte. (READ: FAQs: Pope Francis' trip to the Philippines)
At 6 pm Monday, thousands of personnel from PNP and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority held simulation exercises in preparation for the arrival of the Pope. – Rappler.com
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