The Palace has expressed its gratitude to the Filipino people for the successful five-day state and apostolic visit of Pope Francis to the country.“We thank our countrymen for their solidarity in ensuring the safety of the Pope: From the thousands who patiently lined the route of the papal motorcade; to the organizations that encouraged mindfulness and helped maintain order during the public engagements of the Pope; and to the millions who participated in the papal activities,” Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a statement posted at the Official Gazette (www.gov.ph) on Monday.
“We recognize the dedication of the different church groups that worked hand-in-hand with government. Their cooperation, as they kept in mind advisories for all the events, contributed to fostering an organized and peaceful papal visit,” he added.
Lacierda also thanked the media for relaying relevant information to the people and the telecommunications companies for their cooperation in ensuring public security.
“The gratitude of the Filipino people extends to those not directly involved with the Pope’s security—those who manned different posts, as their colleagues were reassigned to safeguard the welfare of Pope Francis and of the many who came out to see him,” he said.
Meanwhile, in a press interview after the Pontiff boarded Shepherd One (Philippine Airlines Flight PR 8010) bound for Rome, President Benigno S. Aquino III said Pope Francis was “very, very happy”, when he was asked if the Pope was glad with the reception he received from the Filipinos.
“Tuwang-tuwa siya doon sa hospitality na ipinakita (sa kanya). Damang-dama daw niya ‘yung warmth,” he said.
“Inulit-ulit niya ang pasasalamat sa sambayanan na talagang ikinatuwa niya ang init ng pagsalubong na ginawa,” the President added.
Pope Francis left Manila on Monday morning after his state and pastoral visit to the country, concluding his two-nation Asian tour which began in Sri Lanka. PND (ag)