Malacanang confirms receiving information about assassination plot on Pope Francis

By on January 25, 2015

Pope Francis wearing a yellow raincoat during mass in Tacloban (Malacacang Photo Bureau)
Pope Francis wearing a yellow raincoat during mass in Tacloban (Malacacang Photo Bureau)

MANILA — The Palace confirmed receiving unverified information about the assassination attempt on Pope Francis when he was in a five-day visit to the Philippines.

“We were able to speak to those in the security establishments on that and I was told that they were aware of that particular piece of unverified information that was passed on,” Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a radio interview Saturday.

“Aware po sila, although they did make it a point to establish that the information had no details and was unverified, but because of the situation, it was passed on anyway,” Valte told dzRB Radyo Ng Bayan.

The report was raw information that was passed on and that was received, without much details, she added.

The country’s security establishment exercise prudence and authorities look into those things and they take it into account, the Palace official said.

Asked whether the measure to turn off cellphones signals related to the threat, Valte said it was not the reason. The decision to turn off the signals was made even prior to the reception of the raw and unverified information.

A former military intelligence officer claimed there were two attempts to assassinate the pope during his visit in the Philippines – one in Manila and another in Tacloban, Leyte.

Few months ago, the Iraqi government warned that the Islamic State, which has been sowing terrorism in the Middle East wanted the pope killed, and that the threats against Pope Francis were credible.