1.8M turn up for Cebu Sto. Niño procession


CEBU CITY: Some 1.8 million Sr. Santo Niño devotees joined the solemn procession of the image of the Holy Child Saturday afternoon despite a brewing storm.

Conrad Capa, deputy regional director for operations and officer-in-charge of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO), said the procession went on smoothly, peacefully and orderly.

Firecrackers were banned along the procession route and a gun ban was was implemented in Cebu for the Sinulog festivities.

Capa reported the arrest of three people though, including an American citizen, for interrupting the religious gathering and offending religious feelings in violations of Article 132 and 133 of the Revised Penal Code.

Michael Bradley, 46, of Florida, USA and his wife Elcel Bradley, 28, from Palawan with Rebecca Muñoz, 29, were arrested for trying to disturb the devotees at the procession route by using a mega phone.

Chief Inspector Wildemar Tiu, Fuente Police chief, said the American tried to resist arrest by invoking his freedom of religion and freedom of speech.

Except for this minor incident, the police reported no other untoward incident along the procession route. The procession was also finished earlier this year compared to last year.

Chief Inspector Enrique Belciña of the CCPO said the head of procession reached the Basilica at 3:20 p.m. while the carroza carrying the image of the Holy Child entered the pilgrim center at 6 p.m. in time for the Pontifical Mass celebrated by Archbishop of Sorsogon, Msgr. Arturo Bastes.



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