AT least 2,000 policemen will be deployed by the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) in Manila on January 9 to secure the feast of the Black Nazarene.
According to Chief Supt. Oscar Albayalde, NCRPO regional director, the policemen are ready for the huge festivity next week.
“We are prepared. All security measures are already in place there,” he said in a television interview on Monday.
Albayalde added that uniformed personnel will be augmented by “force multipliers,” including at least 3,000 village security forces.
The hours-long procession during the feast day is notorious for casualties that result from the jostling of the thousands of devotees as they pull the carriage bearing the supposedly miraculous statue of the Black Nazarene.
Meanwhile, the NCRPO recorded 167 firecracker-related injuries and zero fatalities during the New Year revelry.
It said three were wounded by stray bullets, while one was killed.
Five houses in Manila caught fire but only one of these was caused by firecrackers.
Albayalde said they are investigating a report that Police Officer 1 Daniel Castillo of Manila Police District joined a drinking spree and indiscriminately fired his gun on Saturday night in Tondo, Manila.
There was footage from a closed-circuit television camera that can be used as strong evidence against Castillo, the NCRPO chief said.
It was not immediately clear if the police officer was a suspect in the incident involving the Malabon City teenager. MICHAEL JOE T. DELIZO