By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan and Priam Nepomuceno
MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Tuesday said it would deploy more than 13,000 of its force to secure the Feast of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, Manila on Jan. 9.
“Yung ating coordination through our district director ng MPD (Manila Police District) sinasabi nila na talagang babalik sa dating gawain ang pagsasagawa ng Traslacion ngayong 2024 (Base on our coordination with our district director at the MPD, we learned that the ‘Translacion’ will go back through its usual format this 2024). So in line with that, for our planning, we are intending to deploy 13,691 police officers,” PNP chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr. said in an interview with Radyo Pilipinas.
Aside from the PNP personnel, he said K-9 units would be on duty to augment the security of the “Traslacion” or traditional procession of the Black Nazarene’s image.
Some 2.5 million devotees are expected to attend the procession but this figure could still change depending on the situation, the PNP chief said.
Acorda added that there were prohibitions for this year’s Traslacion in so-called “controlled areas” and these were discussed in their meetings with various groups responsible for the event.
Prohibited in the “controlled areas” are backpacks, ball caps and umbrellas.
He said anyone planning to carry water or any other liquids should place these in transparent containers.
The police are now making these announcements this early so that devotees will be aware of the prohibitions.
Acorda, meanwhile, said the jamming of cellphone signals for the event would depend on the “recommendation of ground commanders”.
This year marks the return of the “Traslacion” to its old format after the celebration was suspended from 2021 to 2023 due to the coronavirus pandemic. (PNA)