PNP appeals for calm as pilgrims flock to Luneta

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 18 2015 09:04 AM | Updated as of Jan 18 2015 05:04 PM

MANILA – The Philippine National Police reiterates its plea to Filipino faithful who continue to flock to the Quirino Grandstand to hear Pope Francis's Mass on Sunday afternoon, to remain calm to maintain peace and order.

"Maging mahinahon po ang lahat," said Chief Superintendent Wilben Mayor, chief of the PNP's Public Information Office.

On Sunday morning, a scuffle broke out at the Maria Orosa entrance to the Quirino Grandstand as the throng of people became impatient and tried to gain entry to the venue. Ten people suffered minor injuries.

"Wala pang crowd estimate, pero kagabi pa lang napakarami na po tayong mga kababayan na nais makita ang ating Santo Papa kaya ini-expect natin na dadami pa po ito," said Mayor.

Those who already made it inside the quadrants are encouraged to remain there to keep the roads open for the Pope.

"Nakikiusap po tayo sa mga kababayan natin dahil ang intension po natin makadaan doon sa naka-schedule na dadaanan ng Santo Papa," he said.

 

Many pilgrims were able to enter the grandstand without passing through security.

"Tayo na rin po ang magbantay sa ating mga sarili, sa kababayan natin sa ating tabi, na lahat po tayo ay maging concern sa isa't-isa para naman po maging maayos itong lahat. Sa ganitong situation, ang response po ay pakikipagtulungan po sa isa't-isa," he said.

Many roads are already closed and now serve only as drop off points for pilgrims.

"Ang pupuntahan po natin ay place of worship kaya nakikiusap po tayo na wag na magdala ng mga bawal tulad ng baril at patalim," Mayor said.