Pope Francis waves to the people who waited in Baclaran, Parañaque City on Thursday to witness the arrival motorcade of the pontiff. Throngs of people waited for hours along the route to witness the first motorcade of the Pope in his five-day trip in the country. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA - The Philippine National Police on Thursday praised Filipino devotees for being disciplined and orderly, as well as for following the guidelines given by the government and the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), in welcoming Pope Francis.
Tens of thousands of people lined the streets of Manila to welcome Pope Francis on Thursday for his five-day visit to the Philippines.
Chief Superintendent Wilben Mayor, PNP spokesperson, expressed his gratitude that the first event of the papal visit went smoothly.
"Magkakasama tayong lahat dito, nag-unite, nakita natin na lahat is so excited, kanina hindi rin tayo makahinga noong nanonood tayo, pero talagang excited tayong lahat, pati 'yung mga pulis doon, sigurado ko 'yung mga nakaabang doon sa line is excited lahat. Of course, it’s really an honor for us," Mayor said in an interview on radio dzMM.
He also commended his fellow policemen for doing well on the first day of the papal visit, which for him reflects how they will perform all throughout the five-day visit.
"Siguro pinakita natin sa first day, ang sabi ko nga is 'if we can do it on the first day, we can do it all the way,'" the official added.
For Fr. Francis Lucas, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-Episcopal Commission on Social Communications and Mass Media, the first day was 'perfect'.
"(The) first day for me is perfect. 'Yun nga lang medyo matagal ang paglabas. Pati crowd, paulit-ulit nating sinasabi, kayo ang support, augmentation ng ating forces. We have done everything, you have to do the rest, ginawa naman nila, hanggang pahiyaw-hiyaw lang, saka 'yung sigaw, iba eh, parang si Kristo bumalik sa lupa," he added.
Mayor explained that authorities have also prepared in case Pope Francis decided to get off his "popemobile" and approach the people.
He also appealed to the public to avoid rushing towards the Pope in case he decides to approach the crowd in the next public events.
"Again, ang paki-usap natin ay para mabigyan ng chance ang lahat. Hayaan natin siyang umikot. Kasi nakita na natin 'yun, pinapakita noong 1995 ano, noong sinalubong siya sa gitna, noong pumunta dito si Pope (John Paul II). We hope na siguro'y huwag ganun," Mayor said.
"Kaya nga sa ngayon, ipapakiusap natin sa lahat na, para lahat tayo makita siya, then ang concern natin ay sa isa't isa, hindi 'yung pansarili tayo. Tingnan natin 'yung concern ng isa, ng kapwa natin, para kung matinginan man tayo, lahat tayo'y makakakita sa kanya," the official added.