Press Release
January 13, 2015

Pimentel appeals for public discipline and vigilance during Pope's visit

Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III today said "faith with discipline and vigilance is the key to success" of Pope Francis' visit to the country starting on Thursday this week.

Pimentel issued an appeal to every Filipino who plans to attend any of the Pope's public engagements "to be guided by the fundamental mission" of the five-day visit of Christ's vicar on earth.

"That is to strengthen our faith in God," he said of the visit that would also bring Francis to Leyte province at the ground zero of Supertyphoon Yolanda's devastation in Tacloban City in December 2013.

Pimentel said discipline would help ensure a trouble-free celebration as some six million devotees are expected to hear the Pope's mass on Jan. 18 at the Rizal Park.

Vigilance, he said, would help avert any untoward incident to help some 25,000 policemen and a massive security blanket thrown by government to secure the head of the Vatican.

Pimentel said public vigilance would play a critical role in the air-tight security cordon as Francis, known as the "People's Pope", insisted on travelling in an open "popemobile".

He said government alone could not accomplish the job to prevent stampedes and attempts by desperate troublemakers, reminding the people that theirs is an indispensable task to closely cooperate.

The unprecedented security measure puts the entire Philippine National Police and Armed Forces in full red alert, no fly zones imposed, roads blocked, and airborne and naval troops enlisted.

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