MANILA — No hostile threats from the air will be allowed to interfere or disrupt any of Pope Francis’ activities in the Philippines.
This was revealed by Philippine Air Force (PAF) spokesperson Lt. Col. Enrico Canaya in statement Wednesday.
This includes enforcement of a “no-fly zone” in Metro Manila, Palo and Tacloban City, Leyte, he added.
This is also to inform “adventurers” who might get a kick trying to overfly areas where the Pontiff will be holding his activities.
“The PAF is prepared to provide air defense (and) air cover (for Pope Francis), we will enforce a ‘no-fly zone’ (to ensure that no threat from the skies will threaten the Pontiff),” Canaya stressed.
The PAF spokesperson said that they will be deploying S-211 jet trainers, helicopter gunship, combat utility helicopters and ground-based anti-aircraft guns for these missions.
Both the PAF and the Navy will be deploying 26 aircraft for Pope Francis’ visit. This includes those used for transportation, air cover, administrative support and security missions.
Canaya also said that pilots were briefed on the rules of engagement on what to do in case an aerial threat violates their “no-fly zone” and stated that they will see to it that no civilians will be hit or turned into collateral damage.
But he hopes that the PAF will not have to deal with such incidents.