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Sunday, January 11, 2015

AFP musters troops for papal visit

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Armed Forces Chief Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. on Sunday presided over the mustering of troops at  Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City where he laid down the ground rules in securing Pope Francis’ five-day visit in the Philippines.
“We’ve to accomplish our mission. We have to be ready for the visit of Pope Francis,” Catapang told soldiers.

A priest gave God’s blessings to
(A Catholic priest gives God’s blessing to some of the troops who
will help  ensure the safety of Pope Francis, his entourage and
the publicPhoto by PAO
the officers and men whose mission is to ensure the safety of the Pope and his entourage while conducting activities in Metro Manila and in Tacloban City,  Leyte.
“The purpose of this (mustering of troops) is to see if our troops are ready not only physically and mentally but also spiritually,” Catapang said.
Some 7,000 reservists are called  to duty during the Pope’s visit from January 15-19, 2015.
Catapang said up to 12,000 soldiers and reservists would be deployed in Metro Manila to secure the Pope.
Catapang in his previous estimate said the Armed Forces had 20,000 troops to beef up the 25,000 members of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
The military chief said  “it is more of showing  our attention,  our love,  and our desire to see the Vicar of Christ in our midst.”
Pope Francis will arrive on January 15 and his first public activity would be at the Quirino grandstand where millions of the Catholic faithful are expected to swarm the place.
The Pope is also scheduled to go to the Mall of Asia in Pasay City and the University of Sto. Tomas (UST) campus in Manila.
The Pope will  hold mass in Tacloban City, hardest hit by  super typhoon Yolanda, which  killed thousands of people and sent many others missing in November 2013.


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