MANILA — An official of the 2015 Papal Visit Committee said that there is a backup popemobile in case the two other vehicles Pope Francis will use during his five-day visit in the country broke down.
According to Archbishop Socrates Villegas, committee chairman, one of the three vehicles has been shipped to the country from South Korea, which the pontiff visited in August last year.
Villegas said that they provided more than one popemobile for the Holy Father since there has to be another vehicle for him in Leyte.
“We cannot transport the popemobile in Manila to Tacloban so understandably kailangan natin (we need a) popemobile exclusively for Tacloban and Palo,” he said.
The president of the Catholic Bishops’ of the Philippines (CBCP) added, “Dito sa (here in) Manila we will have the jeepney-inspired popemobile for the use of the Holy Father but we also have an alternate popemobile just in case something breaks down we have a backup.”
Villegas said the driver of the popemobile will be part of the papal party, noting that they did not provided a driver, who is familiar with the roads and areas since there a security car that will guide the papal convoy.
“We don’t need that kind of expertise kasi there’s a security car in front of it to be followed. What we need is familiarity with the preferences of Pope Francis because if he wants to stop or he wants to greet, he already is familiar with the body language of the pope,” he said.
Asked if the backup vehicle is bulletproof, the Lingayen-Dagupan prelate said, “It is proof by angels.”
Pope Francis will arrive in the country on Thursday afternoon for his Apostolic and State Visit from Jan. 15 to 19.