So far, state security forces have not monitored any direct threat to the pope, who will be in the country from January 15-19, Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III said.

"We're touching base with so many allies to try and see... identify any threat whatsoever coming from any direction," Xinhua news agency quoted him as saying, citing coordination by the Philippine government with the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) and the Southeast Asian countries.

He said the security forces were specifically on the lookout for the people that could be on the Interpol watch list who went to Syria or Iraq to join the militant group Islamic State (IS).

"Then Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) brother states that have some of their citizens suspected of wanting to join IS. Plus we have our own ongoing operations to deal with our own domestic terrorist threats," Aquino said.

Apart from Manila, the pope will also visit the central Philippine province of Leyte to see the people who were displaced by typhoon Haiyan in November 2013.

Latest News from World News Desk