• Roads closed during papal convoy dry run

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    Motorists should expect heavy traffic today because of a scheduled dry run of the papal convoy from Villamor Air Base in Pasay City to the Apostolic Nunciature in Manila.

    Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino said the dry run will be participated in by members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG), Philippine National Police and security personnel from the Vatican.

    Tolentino added that some roads may be closed starting at 5 p.m. on Monday. The Pope’s convoy will pass through Andrews Avenue, Roxas Boulevard and Quirino Avenue.

    “We will know from the simulation if there will be new routes to make,” he told the agency’s weekly radio program on Sunday.

    “Our security experts can also evaluate if there will be more adjustment in the actual travel speed of the papal convoy,” Tolentino said.

    The MMDA chief asked for the understanding of motorists who will be affected by
    the papal convoy dry run.

    Also on Sunday, Malacañang officials conducted a walk-through on the Palace grounds to simulate the meeting of Pope Francis and President Benigno Aquino 3rd on Friday. Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the walk-through was attended by top Cabinet and government officials.

    “Patuloy din naman po ang masinsing pagmamatyag, pagtutok ng ating buong intelligence community at pwersa ng Sandatahang Lakas at Pambansang Pulisya upang pigilan ang anomang banta sa seguridad ng ating bansa, lalong-lalo na at humaharap po tayo sa nalalapit na pagdalaw ng Mahal na Santo Papa [The intelligence community and the Armed Forces and the police continue to keep watch on any security threat to the country, especially now that we are preparing for the Pope’s arrival],” Coloma told state-run Radyo ng Bayan.

    Aquino has named former Armed Forces chief Emmanuel Bautista as the overall coordinator for the Pope’s security.

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