No serious threat to Pope–AFP
MANILA, Philippines–Except for the mob, there are no serious security threats against Pope Francis’s Manila visit in January next year, Armed Forces of the Philippines chief Gen. Gregorio Catapang said on Tuesday.
Catapang said the AFP was preparing for a mob control and rescue scenario to prevent the Pontiff from accidentally getting hurt by the throng of Catholic devotees.
He ruled out any assassination attempt on the Pope from any armed or terrorist/extremist groups here, including supporters of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (Isis).
“We have no information on the Isis so we don’t consider it as among many threats we have to deal with,” Catapang told reporters at Camp Aguinaldo.
He said the Abu Sayyaf’s recent declaration of support for the Isis through a video posted on the video-sharing site Youtube was more of an expression of sympathy than actual support.
Catapang said the Filipino peacekeepers who recently returned from Golan Heights in Israel would be assigned to secure the Pope since this group had been exposed to international events.
He said these peacekeepers would be retrained to prepare them for the elaborate security plan on how to deal with the crowd that will meet the Pope.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.