Filipino Cops to Wear Diapers During Pope's Visit

Plan to keep bathroom runs at bay has been 'well received,' Manila official says
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 7, 2015 1:19 PM CST
Filipino Cops to Suit Up in Diapers for Pope's Visit
Pope Francis smiles during the noon prayer he celebrated from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Dec. 26, 2014.   (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

(Newser) – Pope Francis will be visiting the Philippines next week, and the country's traffic enforcement officers are on the ready—diapers and all. Francis Tolentino, the chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, says that the 2,000-strong traffic team on duty during the Jan. 15-19 visit will be made to don adult diapers, the AP reports, ostensibly to cut down on bathroom breaks and make sure there isn't gridlock during the pontiff's stay. Practice makes perfect, so 800 traffic cops will be doing a (hopefully) dry run on Friday during the 24-hour Black Nazarene procession, an event that dates back to the 17th century in which barefooted men carry a life-sized black wooden Jesus statue through the streets. "If you attend an event that will last for 24 hours, you cannot go around looking for a [portable toilet]," Tolentino tells the AP.

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Point taken. At least the people who really count are on board: Tolentino says the diaper directive has been "well received" by his men. In fact, Tolentino thinks the idea is such a good one that he's also encouraging priests, nuns, the elderly, seminary students, everyone who's attending the open-air mass in Rizal Park on Jan. 18, and anyone at all who's planning to wait at the pope's appearances to diaper up—there simply won't be enough portable toilets to go around for the millions expected to show. The one person who may not be sporting a pair of Depends: Tolentino himself, who offers the AP an inexplicable "I will try, but in my case, I have less hydration." (Well, if diapers are good enough for brides…)

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