NCRPO to place barbed wires at Ayala Bridge during Black Nazarene procession
To prevent people from climbing the beams of the Ayala Bridge during the procession of the Black Nazarene or the annual Traslacion, the acting director of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) said barbed wires will be placed there.
In a press briefing, Police Brigadier General Debold Sinas said it was his idea to place barbed wires on the bridge.
“It’s my idea because (people) can climb on the beam… chances they will fall or they will jump just to go to the andas (carriage). The reason we place barbed wires is because even if you remind Filipinos everyday, they are hard-headed… so we will go first and place wires so that they cannot climb,” Sinas said.
As to the worry of the people that it will hurt the devotees, Sinas said no one will get hurt if they will not force themselves to go near the barbed wires.
He added after the Black Nazarene passed the bridge, the Department of Public Works and Highways will immediately remove it.
“That is more on preventive measure,” Sinas said.
Sinas said a total of 13, 572 police personnel will be deployed where 2, 144 of them will be securing the carriage.
“Then we’ll have another almost three thousand from Armed Forces of the Philippines, Bureau of Fire Protection, Bureau of Jail Management and Penolo, Philippine Coast Guard and also the volunteers,” Sinas said.
“(Overall) 16,000 will secure the route from Quirino Grandstand up to Quezon Boulevard,” he added.
Though he cannot guarantee that the devotees will not be able to penetrate their formation, Sinas said they will do their best to prevent it from happening.
“I cannot say that 100 percent guaranteed but we will do our best. We have contingencies if they (devotees) managed to penetrate… we will hold the line,” he said.
Sinas said they started holding dialogues at local level to inform them of the new system.
In the new system, police officers will surround the carriage and will conduct formation on the sidewalk during the procession to prevent devotees from mobbing the image of the Black Nazarene.
Sinas assured devotees can follow at the procession at the back of the carriage.
Police personnel are only assigned to secure the areas from Quirino Grandstand up to Arlegui Street.. Once they reach these streets, the organizers said devotees can do traditional activities, such as pulling the rope and climbing the carriage.
Sinas hopes the accredited groups or Hijos will respect the new system. Police will help them in controlling devotees who will join at the back of the procession.
For those who will still insist on goibng near the image even before reaching Arlegui especially those who will try to take the carriage along Jones Bridge, Sinas said a mobile jail will be ready for them.
Father Alex Evasco, the procession coordinator, asked people for their understanding on the new system.
“We appeal to everyone with regards to the conduct of a more organize, discipline and high spirit ceremony for the Traslacion. This is to assure that we are safe to any possible threats of terrorism, criminality and in effort to achieve zero fatality,” he said.
“For those (areas) that will not be passed through, we assure you that we will find a way that next time your area will be part of the procession, even if it’s only Thanksgiving,” he added.
Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso said all kinds of obstruction will be prohibited along the routes of procession.
Vendors will not be allowed and he warned politicians from posting tarpaulin greetings.
He even joked that those who will leave their vehicles, including motorcycles on the prohibited areas, will be considered a donation to the city government.
“Let’s make this solemn. It’s about Jesus, this is not about opportunity to raise ourselves economically… I think it’s high time also for everyone to reflect… we want a solemn celebration, no shenanigans. I’m calling all politicians to refrain from greetings… all your greetings will be considered as obstruction, it will be tear it down. Let’s do something new, we can improve it,” Domagoso said.
The city mayor ordered the suspension of classes in all universities, colleges and schools in the nation's capital on January 9 in observance of the annual Traslacion.
He also ordered the suspension of work in all departments, offices and bureaus under the Manila City government.
The order does not cover city government offices involved in maintaining peace and order, public services, traffic enforcement, disaster risk reduction and management as well as sanitation.
Suspension of work in national government offices and private companies is left to the discretion of their respective management and or heads of office. Ella Dionisio/DMS