January 24, 2018, 9:22 am
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All clear for Traslacion

THE Manila Police District (MPD) yesterday said it’s a go for the grand procession of the Black Nazarene on January 9 since there is no credible threat to the Traslacion as of now.

In a press briefing, MPD chief Supt. Joel Coronel said: “As of now, we have no actual, direct, or imminent threat indicating clear and present danger to the traslacion. So, it’s a go.”

Coronel said there will be still monitoring by all intelligence operatives, and authorities will act based on reports and assessments.

“In a worst case scenario, we have Plan A and Plan B. We are ready depending on the scenario,” said Quiapo Church Parochial Vicar Fr. Douglas Badong.

Close to 19 million people are expected to participate in the feast of the Black Nazarene, which is culminated by the grand procession from the Quirino Grandstand to the Quiapo Church.

Coronel said the police are taking all steps to secure all venues of the festivities and activities.

He said a total of 7,000 to 9,000 personnel from the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the Philippine Coast Guard shall be deployed to secure the event.

He said there will be a temporary gun ban from midnight of January 8 to midnight of January 10 in Manila, and all permits to carry firearms would be suspended for 48 hours.

Coronel said the entire air space covering the procession has also been declared by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines as a “no fly zone” for all types of aircraft and drones.

He said they will also continue to jam cellphone signals in all activity areas and procession route depending on where the andas (carriage) is.

“Unlike the previous time, the shutdown is in the whole of Manila and surrounding cities. This time, it will only be for cellphone cell sites within the andas’ vicinity,” he said.

Philippine Coast Guard spokesman Armand Balilo said 38 water craft will be deployed for the event and a “no sail zone” will be implemented in areas near the Quirino Grandstand.

Balilo said boats will also be deployed under bridges where the procession will pass.

Coronel said he submitted a recommendation to the Office of the Mayor for a liquor ban from 6 p.m. of January 8 to 6 a.m. of January 10.

Manila City Administrator Jojo Alcovendas said Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada has ordered the suspension of classes in the city and cancelled work at City Hall except the department directly involved in the event.

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno announced the suspension of work at the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals and trial courts of the first and second level in Manila on Jan. 9. – With Ashzel Hachero
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