TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte (PIA) –In order to ensure the security of His Holiness Pope Francis on his visit to Leyte, the joint task force of all agencies of the government had been activated.

According to Police Chief Superintendent Asher Dolina, Regional Director of the Police Regional Office 8, he will deploy some 9, 836 PNP personnel, 81 of whom are officers while the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) committed to deploy 200 personnel to complement the security forces.

There are also some 11, 700 force multipliers and 1, 000 AFP reservist to augment the forces of AFP and PNP, Dolina added.

Meanwhile, Office 0f Civil Defense Regional Director Blanche Gobenciong emphasized that so far there is no serious threat against the Pope’s visit to Leyte. However, the Philippine government being the host country should take all the precautionary measures to prevent untoward incidents.

His Holiness Pope Jorge Mario Bergoglio is expected to arrive in Tacloban City, Leyte on January 17, 2015 at Daniel Z. Romualdez airport and will officiate an open air mass with an estimate attendance of 150, 000 devotees. All sects are invited to attend.

After the mass, the Pope will proceed to Archbishop Palace and to Palo cathedral which are both located in Palo, Leyte, some 12 kilometers away from Tacloban, City.

Learning about the security preparation for the Pope, Palo Archbishop John Du was so grateful but he requested to be considerate to all in attendance, pilgrims or otherwise.

The visit of the Pope has two distinct purposes being the head of state which is Vatican and his apostolic journey being the head of the Catholic Church. (aen/jhb/PIA-8)