AFP: Lessons learned in Pope visit


Posted at Jan 19 2015 05:06 PM | Updated as of Jan 20 2015 01:06 AM

MANILA - The spokesman of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Monday shared some of the learnings of the Philippine military during the five-day visit of Pope Francis, Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church.

AFP spokesman Col. Restituto Padilla said security officials are very satisfied with the outcome of the Pope's visit, which saw more than six million Filipinos gather during the final Eucharistic Celebration at Rizal Park -- a world record for a papal gathering.

Nearly 40,000 soldiers and police were deployed to protect the pontiff during the Pope's visit.

"Overall, generally peaceful, orderly, saka maayos. Haping-hapi ang organizing committee. Pero yung credit belongs to the people because of their cooperation," he told reporters.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin also thanked the public for their "excellent conduct" during the five-day visit of Pope Francis.

Padilla said the AFP will hold an awarding ceremony for all military units involved in the security preparations for the Pope.

However, he also said there is still room for improvement "which will be good opportunities to fine-tune and refine for our next set of VIPs who will be visiting the country."

One area for improvement is crowd management, noting that some devotees were injured during a scuffle in Rizal Park hours before the Papal Mass.

"Siguro yung sa crowd management. May kunti pang kailangang idagdag dun. Yung sa pagpasok, provision ng mga equipment, sa pagcheck ng mga tao...Nag-bog down yung mga scanners so provisions for backup kit," he said.

He added: "May mga lugar kasi na nagtutulakan pa rin. Kulang na siguro ng mga tao namin sa naka-assign sa mga route. Siguro kelangan bigyan pa ng mga bullhorn kasi hindi sila pinakikinggan e. Mahina yung boses so kung may bullhorn sila, pakikingan sila, para marinig. Mga ganung klaseng bagay, maliliit na bagay pero napakaimportante."