Yesterday, while traversing Roxas boulevard, I saw a battalion of cops in formation in front of the CCP complex. They are preparing to literally sweep the entire stretch of Roxas boulevard. When we say "sweep" we mean a way for which to identify if there are incendiary devices implanted on areas where the Pope mobile is expected to pass thru. Cops inspected every square inch of space. They want to make doubly sure that no bomb device or what have you is implanted.
I appeal to our citizens, especially those intending to attend the Papal mass to abide with all security guidelines the authorities have set.
Let's remember that whatever happens to the Pope here will impact greatly on our image and reputation as a safe place all over the world. The eyes of the world are on us, the minute Pope Francis steps out of his airplane.
The PNP must take every precaution. They must review and re-evaluate their actions and security arrangements. Do not leave any stone unturned.
By the way, the New People's Army has declared a ceasefire during the Papal visit. There are no such declarations from other threat groups like the BIFF, the Abu Sayyaf and others. The "others" mean non-religious yet ideological groups who want to put the Aquino administration to shame.
In the light of the recent killings undertaken by unorganised fundamentalists in France, security threats cannot simply be ignored. Pro-active preparations must be undertaken, reviewed and implemented.
It is comforting to learn that as far as the cops are concerned, they have monitored no such threat against the pope. However, it is elementary that even if there is none, security agencies must act like there is.
Remember that in some of the Pope's visits here, it was in the Philippines that two attempts took place. These attempts nearly cost the Pope's life had it been to the courageous intervention of some people.