**this post will be updated as soon as information comes in. Refresh the page occasionally.* (With reports from GREEN FM news reporters Jonathan Andal, Elisa Marie Blando, Bea Paola Mondares, Denzel Almanzor, Jasmine Gonzales)
MANILA, PHILIPPINES (5:12 PM) – President Benigno Aquino III is now in Villamor Air Base to welcome the Pope.
PASAY CITY, PHILIPPINES – While many of Filipinos are on queue waiting for Pope Francis to arrive, some chose to spend this special non working holiday in a theme park.
BACLARAN, PHILIPPINES – The bay side of Baclaran has been cleared of civilians for security purposes. Civilians are only allowed on the right side and the middle part of the road.
MANILA, PHILIPPHINES (4:09PM)- Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines has released the official list of twenty four (24) Official greeters during the arrival of Pope Francis at Villamor Air Base in Pasay City, consisting of 12 cabinet officials and 12 Church Leaders.
MANILA, PHILIPPHINES (3:40PM)- Josefa Gilbuena 88 years old ” Hindi ako natatakot kahit maraming tao. Nanalangin ako sa Santo Nino na gabayan ako dito para makita si Pope Francis”
MANILA, PHILIPPHINES (2:48PM)- The volume of people in Baclaran has started to increase. Human barricades and QCPD officers are now posted to keep the crowd in check
MANILA BAY, PHILIPPINES (2:43 PM) – Philippine Coast Guard set sail in Manila Bay in preparation for the Pope’s arrival. Three pump boats and three fighter vessels are in position to secure the coast. The Coast Guards also set up parameters for all types of private sea vessel; they are not allowed 100 meters north of SM Mall of Asia.
People queue for public utility vehicles which have become scarce since officials began to clear out terminals.
MANILA, PHILIPPINES (2:20 PM) – The emergency field hospital installed beside the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) could be the largest of all EFH that are scattered in different parts of Manila. It has complete hospital services needed by the public. Doctors are from MAKATI MED with over 1000 Red Cross volunteers nationwide.
MANILA, PHILIPPINES (2:15 PM) – PNP and civilian volunteers form human barricades for Papal Motorcade
MANILA, PHILIPPINES (2:09 PM) – Police are now being deployed to their respective posts
TAFT AVENUE, MANILA, PHILIPPINES (1:46 PM) – Devotees gathered around Taft-Quirino Ave waiting for the Pope
CCP COMPLEX, MANILA, PHILIPPINES (1:40PM) – An estimated number of 500 police officers assembled around the CCP Complex Area to provide security during the Pope’s motorcade.
MANILA, PHILIPPINES (1:13 PM) – Devotees are now gathering along Taft Avenue. They are shouting “Viva El Papa!” while waiting for the Pope’s arrival.
MANILA, PHILIPPINES – (12:15 pm) Hours before the arrival of Pope Francis, the Papal Visit PH Media and Information Headquarters in Intramuros is all abuzz with the media itself in confusion about which events the accredited media can actually access.
The Green FM Accredited Papal Visit Media team reports that media organizations were surprised upon being denied entry to the Villamor Airbase arrival site, and then told that only a handful of pre-selected media organizations will actually be allowed in selected sites.
The media complaints point out that the denial of entry is contrary to the stipulation in the Official Media Advisory that accredited media will be allowed access to most of the venues of the Papal itinerary, with the exception of the Malacanang events.
The media organizers are seen to prioritize the concerns of the international media, particularly the European media.
The Papal Visit PH media center admitted that although 4,000 media were accredited for the Papal Visit coverage, only 150 media will be allowed at the MOA Arena family gathering, and fewer in the other papal events.
It is still unclear whether the rest of the accredited media will be given an area from which to cover the papal itinerary events.
MANILA, PHILIPPINES (11:32 AM) – Pope Francis is now heading to the Philippines after his visit in Sri Lanka. The Pope is now boarding his plane and is expected to arrive in the country later in the afternoon