NAGA CITY: The Philippine National Police (PNP) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Bicol have enforced strict security measures to ensure the safety of hundreds of thousands of devotees of Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia whose feast day is celebrated today.
Chief Supt. Melvin Buenafe, Bicol police director, ordered the heightened security and asked the telecommunication firms to shut down cellular phone or mobile services during the celebration to avert terror threats.
Owing to Buenafe’s request Ramon Isberto, of Smart public affairs said that they will turn off their mobile services in Naga City from 1 – 6 p.m.
Buenafe deployed more than 500 policemen in Naga City to augment forces of the city and Camarines Sur police securing the 306th Peñafrancia Festival.
The Peñafrancia Festival is an annual devotion to Our Lady of Peñafrancia (Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia) to whom Bicolanos from all walks of life and around the world pay homage.
Aside from Bicolanos, pilgrims and tourists also flock to the city to celebrate with Ina, for the country’s oldest religious and cultural celebration.
The PNP regional command also created Regional Peace and Order Task Force Peñafrancia Festival 2016 with Buenafe as task force commander.
The PNP and the AFP will be closely monitoring the Maharlika and Andaya highways to protect devotees and tourists from robbery and hold-up groups.