Valenzuela City Congressman Win Gatchalian lauded the members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) who were directly involved in the implementation of security measures during the five-day visit of Pope Francis.
At least 20,000 soldiers and reservists, as well as 25,000 policemen were deployed to secure the routes and venues of the events highlighted in Pope Francis’ visit in Manila; in Tacloban City and Palo, both in Leyte, from January 15 to 19.
“The AFP and PNP deserve to be congratulated for their discipline and professionalism in securing Pope Francis. The fact that there was no untoward incident during the five-day Papal visit showed that our soldiers and policemen are hard-working and truly world-class when it comes to securing global leaders,” Gatchalian said.
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The leading member of the Nationalist People’s Coalition lauded AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. and PNP officer-in-charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina for their exemplary leadership before, during, and after Pope Francis’ visit.
He said the successful crowd management skills showed by the PNP and AFP during the Papal visit should make them ready for similar “security nightmares” like the Asia Pacific Economic Conference Leaders’ Summit in November.
The PNP has estimated that the crowd during the Papal Mass in Rizal Park is from 6 to 7 million, which is already a record.
Gatchalian stated that there is no room for complacency on the part of the AFP and PNP since there remains the challenge to boost and introduce improvements into the tactical aspects of the protective measures for such large-scale deployments and big events.
The Filipino also deserve to be congratulated for cooperating with authorities with their good behavior in the five days that Pope Francis was here, the lawmaker also said. (R. Burgos)