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PNP to deploy more than 13k cops to secure Feast of Black Nazarene

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More than 13,000 policemen will be deployed to ensure peace and order during the observance of the Feast of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, Manila on Jan. 9.

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr. hinted that a bigger force of law enforcers was necessary since this year’s event would go back to the usual observance of the Traslacion or Feast of the Black Nazarene.

Acorda cited the PNP’s coordination with the Manila Police District who confirmed that the usual practice of the Traslacion would be resumed this year.

“We have learned that the Traslacion will go back to its usual format. So in line with that, we are intending to deploy 13,691 police officers,” Acorda said in a radio interview.

Apart from the policemen, Acorda said K-9 units would be on dispatch to augment the security forces during the traditional procession of the Black Nazarene’s icon.

Some 2.5 million devotees are expected to take part in the procession, although the volume could change depending on the situation on the ground, the PNP chief said.

Acorda added that there would be prohibitions during the procession in so-called “controlled areas” as discussed in their meetings with various groups responsible for the event.

Among the banned items in the “controlled areas” are backpacks, ball caps, and umbrellas.

Acorda also said water and other thirst-quenchers should be carried in transparent containers.

He also said jamming of cellphone signals during the event would depend on the “recommendation of ground commanders”.

A procession dubbed “Walk of Thanksgiving” was held Saturday night to usher in the Feast of the Black Nazarene.

The procession, which featured the image of the Black Nazarene, started at 11:30 p.m. from Quiapo Church, also called the Minor Basilica and National Shrine of Jesus Nazareno.

The image on board a carroza was taken out of the church and paraded on the surrounding thoroughfares.

Parish officials, members of the Hijos del Nazareno, and police personnel joined the devotees in the procession which took more than two hours. The event was broadcast live on the church’s Facebook page.

Quiapo Church earlier released the rest of the activities for Nazareno 2024, which will culminate in the Traslacion on January 9.

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