AFP adds more troops for Feast of Black Nazarene
The number of security personnel to be deployed during the Feast of the Black Nazarene has increased as the Joint Task Force National Capital Region (JTF-NCR) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) committed more troops to support the Philippine National Police (PNP) on securing the event next week.
“More than 1,000 troops from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will now be deployed to secure devotees at the annual Feast of the Black Nazarene on 09 January 2018,” Major Chamberlain Esmino, of JTF-NCR said Saturday.
Esmino said these troops, which include combined personnel from the Army, Air Force, Navy, Northern Luzon Command, Southern Luzon Command, and AFP Reserve Command will be part of Joint Task Group “Nazareno” activated by the JTF-NCR.
“Its mission is to support the efforts of the Police and other government agencies in securing a peaceful celebration of the annual feast,” he said.
“They will form part of the forces for security, medical, K9, explosives and ordnance disposal, and chemical biological radiological and nuclear explosives teams,” he added.
Esmino said the military troops “will be deployed from Quirino Grandstand to St John Baptist Church, Quiapo, Manila starting 08 January 2018.”
It can be recalled that newly-appointed JTF-NCR Commander Brig. Gen. Alan Arrojado said Thursday that only a battalion of troops will be deployed to support the PNP.
Arrojado explained that number of military troops committed for the security of the event was increased based on his request made before the national headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
“I emphasized the importance of this event to higher headquarter thus I requested for additional personnel as compared last year that we had limited forces because of ASEAN and Ms. Universe pageant and my request was approved,” he said.
Arrojado emphasized his request for additional forces has nothing to do with possible threats related to the feast.
“There are no serious threats, I just considered the handicaps of last year deployment because of limited personnel given to task force as reported by my officers hence the request,” he said.
“As the Metro Sentinel of the National Seat of Government, the JTF NCR, AFP will actively support the Philippine National Police in ensuring a safe and peaceful celebration of the Feast of the Black Nazarene Translacion 2018. At the same time, our forces will remain alert in thwarting threat groups that may take advantage of the celebration,” Arrojado added.
Esmino noted that “the City Government of Manila, Quiapo Church Administration, and National Capital Region Police Office are the lead organizations for the annual feast "
?Other support agencies include Philippine Coast Guard and Bureau of Fire Protection, Department of Health, Department of Public Works and Highways, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and Metro Manila Disaster Risk (Reduction) Management Council, added Esmino. Robina Asido/DMS