MANILA — With Pope Francis’ five-day apostolic and state visit reaching its successful conclusion Monday, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) announced that the proceeding was “generally peaceful”.
This was announced by AFP spokesperson Col. Restituto Padilla who said that credit for the peaceful and successful conclusion of the Pontiff’s visit can be attributed to the public who cooperated with the security measures demanded by the organizing committee.
The military provided 17,000 personnel and 26 aircraft to secure Pope Francis’ Jan-15 to 19 stay in the Philippines.
Of the 17,000 military personnel deployed, 5,000 of them were reservists.
The Philippine National Police provided the bulk of the security forces, contributing 25,000 police officers.
Padilla said that the AFP is generally satisfied with the performance of the units who took part in the historic event.
He added that awards and citations will be given to noteworthy personnel who displayed dedication to duty during Pope Francis’ five-day stay.
However, he said that there is still room for improvement on the security measures that were implemented, adding these will be improved once the next set of VIPs visit the Philippines.
Padilla said that improvements could be used in crowd control procedures and scanning equipment as there were some bogged-downs experienced at the Quirino Grandstand, Rizal Park, where Pope Francis held his concluding mass.
The AFP spokesperson said that bogged-downd could have been prevented had there been sufficient provisions for reserve equipment and forces.