Over 13,000 cops, almost 300 Coast Guard personnel to secure Traslacion 2020

Kristine Joy Patag - Philstar.com
Over 13,000 cops, almost 300 Coast Guard personnel to secure Traslacion 2020
This January 9, 2019 shows devotees carrying the statue of the Black Nazarene to the carriage at the start of the annual religious procession in Manila
AFP / Noel Celis

MANILA, Philippines — More than 13,000 cops will secure the 2019 feast of the Black Nazarene, the Department of the Interior and Local Government said on the eve of the annual Catholic celebration.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said in a statement that 13,624 police officers will ensure the peaceful conduct of the Traslacion 2020.

“Despite it taking a shorter route than usual, we guarantee the public and the devotees of the Black Nazarene that all bases are covered and all security measures are in place for the Traslacion 2020,” Año said.

The annual feast of the Black Nazarene draws more than a million Catholic faithfuls. For this year’s celebration, the image of the Black Nazarene will begin at Quirino Grandstand but would take the Ayala Bridge route, instead of Jones Bridge in Manila.

Data from the Philippine National Police showed that 2,144 police officers from the Regional Mobile Force Battalion and Special Action Force will secure the Andas Wall.

It added 1,065 cops from the Eastern Police District are tasked to handle venue crowd control, while 1,206 Regional Headquarters and Patrolmen will be stationed in the Quiapo Church Wall.

Security of the procession’s Segment 1-8 from the Quirino Grandstand to Plaza Miranda will be secured by 7,191 coops. Segment A-G from Arlegui Street to Quezon Avenue, meanwhile, will be handled by 517 officers from the Manila Police District, Area Security with 350 and 1,151 for the Support Unit.

Año added that the Bureau of Fire Protection has 10 firetrucks on standby.

The DILG chief also asked the devotees’ cooperation to avoid untoward incident in the procession as he stressed that local government preparation will not matter “if the participating public and devotees won’t behave properly.”

Coast Guard conducts coastal operations for Traslacion

The Philippine Coast Guard, for its part, said it started conducting coastal operations along the vicinity waters off Quirino Grandstand and Pasig River, particularly in Ayala Bridge, Quezon Bridge and Jones Bridge on Tuesday.

The coastal operations will continue until Friday.

Some 271 PCG personnel and 36 floating assets will also be deployed along major operational areas of Quiapo Church, Ayala Bridge and Quirino Grandstand.

Quick response teams, K9 units, medical groups and force multipliers from the PCG Auxiliary are also on standby.

“Available assets of PCG are already strategically deployed including multi-role response vessels (MRRVs) and fast patrol boats. Small crafts including high-speed boats, rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIBs) and rubber boats are already positioned to make sure that the critical areas are highly monitored against any untoward incident,” the PCG said in a statement.

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