Black Nazarene procession ''generally peaceful'': Albayalde
The celebration of the Feast of the Black Nazarene has been peaceful so far, according to Philippine National Police chief Oscar Albayalde on Wednesday.
“As of this time, generally peaceful. So far we have not recorded any casualty. We hope this ends without anyone dying,” Albayalde said in an ambush interview in Manila.
Albayalde said he is satisfied with security preparations but police will removed vendors around the area of Quiapo church before the image of the Black Nazarene reach the area.
He said telecommunication signals will be back once the Nazarene enters Quiapo Church.
The 13-hour procession was one hour faster than the previous year but slowed down while moving at Arlegui Street.
National Capital Region Police Director Guillermo Eleazar added there were no untoward incidents or threats.
"Aside from few problems like those who fainted, got bruises or who fall from the rope, we don’t have any significant injuries," Eleazar said.
"Or even untoward incidents... So far, for the whole, we have not received any petty crimes," he added.
But during the procession, a few incidents were reported such as devotees and church officials seen hurting each other. There was a report that a Manila police official allegedly hurt some NCRPO cops after refusing to follow his orders.
As of 6pm, police recorded a total of 45,000 devotees were joining the procession as the Black Nazarene spearhead towards Guzman Hidalgo street.
The number of people joining the Traslacion lessen compare to the number who join in the morning.
Some devotees chose to wait for the image at Quiapo Church. The number of devotees around the church are at 120,000 as early evening.
Around 485 individuals were given medical attention by the police while around 1,000 were catered by the Philippine Red Cross.
The police and the Red Cross recorded around million devotees in Manila.
The Black Nazarene is expected to return to Quiapo Church by early morning of January 10 after leaving the Quirino Grandstand around 5 am. Ella Dionisio/DMS