By Rhaydz B. Barcia
LEGAZPI CITY, Jan. 6 (PNA) — The Philippine National Police (PNP) Bicol regional office will deploy 1,500 personnel to Tacloban City to provide security for the visit of Pope Francis next week, Chief Supt. Victor P. Deona, Bicol police director, said Tuesday.
Pope Francis will meet the survivors of supertyphoon “Yolanda” (Haiyan) on Jan. 17.
Deona said the Bicol brigade contingent will be led by Senior Supt. Romulo Esteban, assistant regional director for operations, and was formed with augmentation forces from six provincial offices of the region.
“There will be three battalions composed of three companies or teams each,” he added.
Some of the police officers to be sent provided security in Tacloban City after Yolanda hit the area in November 2013.
“Since 2014, we have listed members to take part in this special operation,” Deona added.
The Bicol police chief disclosed that the policemen to be sent to Leyte for the Papal visit are all senior police officers and not the rookie or greenhorn ones.
He assured that the PNP will provide not just 100 percent but 1,000-percent security in areas of engagement of Pope Francis and the delegates to this big event.
The Pope will arrive in Manila on Jan. 15 for a five-day visit to the Philippines.
With the arrival of Pope Francis in the country, several flights from Manila to Legazpi and vice versa were cancelled by the management of Cebu Pacific to lessen the air traffic.
A press statement sent to the PNA by Cebu Pacific said the cancellation of flights was in line with the preparations for the visit of Pope Francis and was made by Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) due to limited operations at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on Jan. 15 (2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.), on Jan. 17 (7:45 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. and 5:45 p.m. – 6:45 p.m.) and on Jan. 19 (6:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.)(PNA)