Bus blast sparks security concerns

Posted By: Chris Costuya On:

MANILA, Jan. 26, 2011—The bomb attack in Makati City that killed five people has re-ignited concerns about security for the papal envoy and other foreign visitors to the University of Sto. Tomas’ Quadricentennial celebration this week.

UST rector Fr. Rolando de la Rosa said heightened security will be enforced inside the campus with the help of the local authorities.

He said that they are also storming heavens with prayers not only for good weather but also for the peaceful opening of UST’s 400th founding anniversary on Friday with a Mass.

“We rely on God’s grace to secure all our delegates that is why we are storming heaven not only for good weather but also for help in order to secure all our delegates,” de la Rosa said.

On Wednesday, Papal Legate Archbishop Zenon Cardinal Grocholewski and around 50 foreign delegates arrived in UST to attend the 10th Biennial Conference of the International Council of Universities of St. Thomas.

De la Rosa said the 71-year old Vatican official and the other visitors, which represent Catholic universities from different continents such as Africa, North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia, would be staying in a hotel while they are in Manila.

The priest added that they have also coordinated with local government to provide protection to their guests.

“We are coordinating with the City Mayor (of Manila). For instance, in all the travels of the Papal Legate we are provided with an escort and other security people in order to provide him with necessary safety,” he said.

But de la Rosa clarified that they made their request even before the bombing happened. “This has been (previously) arranged.”

He said they have also asked Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim to assist them in securing the UST especially this Friday since they would be holding their Quadricentennial dinner for the grand alumni homecoming. They would also be hosting a dinner for the poor.

“We have also tried to secure the place because this would be filled by so many people on January 28,” he added.

During the 5 p.m. mass on Friday, Cardinal Grocholewski will serve as the homilist. A pre-recorded of Pope Benedict XVI will also be shown delivering his message for UST. (CBCPNews)

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