3,500 policemen to secure devotees

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Brand ambassador  He’s everywhere, Pope Francis is, on shirts like on this one being offered for sale in front of Quiapo Church in Manila on Thursday. Look around and you’re sure to find the pontiff’s face on mugs and calendars, in key chains and ball pens, and anything that anyone with a pen or pencil can write Francis’ name. PHOTO BY MELYN ACOSTA

Brand ambassador He’s everywhere, Pope Francis is, on shirts like on this one being offered for sale in front of Quiapo Church in Manila on Thursday. Look around and you’re sure to find the pontiff’s face on mugs and calendars, in key chains and ball pens, and anything that anyone with a pen or pencil can write Francis’ name. PHOTO BY MELYN ACOSTA

THE Philippine National Police (PNP) mobilized 3,500 of its personnel to secure the millions of Black Nazarene devotees who will be joining the mammoth procession in Manila today.

Interior Secretary Mar Roxas said the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) and the Manila Police District (MPD) have been closely coordinating in laying down the security preparation to maintain peace and order during the observance of the Nazarene feast.

“Every year, millions of people from all walks of life participate in the festivities and we have to keep them safe from any harm,” Roxas said.

He said the MPD has organized a task group that will secure the procession and that will be in charge of crowd control and management. The task group helped clear streets of illegal vendors, particularly on the route of the procession such as Plaza Miranda, Plaza Lacson and other areas surrounding Quiapo Church.


Anti-crime operations under OPLAN Lambat-Sibat are also being conducted to deter criminal activities.

“This is the whole of PNP at work. Everyone is contributing to make sure that petty and high-profile criminals will not take advantage of the celebration,” Roxas said in a statement.

Millions of unshod devotees are expected to join the traslacion or the ceremonial transfer of the centuries-old image of the Black Nazarene to its sanctuary inside the St. John the Baptist Parish Church.

Msgr. Clemente Ignacio, rector of the Quiapo Church said more people are expected to join the procession today because the feast day of the Nazarene fell on a Friday.

The annual procession will begin at 6 a.m.

It will start at the Quirino Grandstand; right to Katigbak Drive thru Padre Burgos St.; left to Taft Avenue thru Jones Bridge; right to Escolta St.; left to Carlos Palanca St. thru under Quezon Bridge; left to Quezon Blvd.; right to Arlegui St.; right to Fraternal St.; right to Vergara St.; left to Duque de Alba St.; left to Castillejos St.; left to Farnecio St.; right to Arlegui St.; left to Nepomuceno St.; left to Aguila St.; right to Carcer St.; right to Hidalgo thru Plaza del Carmen; left to Bilibid Viejo thru G. Puyat; left to Guzman St.; right to Hidalgo St.; left to Barbosa St.; right to Globo de Oro thru under Quezon Bridge; right to Palanca St.; right to Villalobos thru Plaza Miranda straight to Quiapo Church.
Anthony Vargas and Robertzon Ramirez

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