PNP inspects Black Nazarene procession route

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About 10 to 15 million pilgrims are expected to join the annual traslacion procession for the Feast of the Black Nazarene on Saturday (January 9).

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The Philippine National Police (PNP) inspected on Monday (January 4) the route of the procession of the Black Nazarene that will be held on January 9.

The inspection headed by National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Director Joel Pagdilao started at the Quirino Grandstand. From the grandstand, the PNP went through the route of the procession until Quiapo.

Watch: History of Quiapo Church

Pagdilao said the walkthrough gave him an idea on how to position PNP personnel during the event.

"Yung ruta na seven kilometers mula Quirino hanggang dito, ginawa nating ten segments. So every segment meron tayong segment commanders at ang layo nito ay 400-600 meters," Pagdilao explained.

According to the NCRPO chief, he also noticed that most of the routes has yet to be cleared of sidewalk vendors and vehicles.

Also read: 15M devotees expected to attend Black Nazarene feast

Pagdilao said the PNP may start the clearing operations by Wednesday (January 6).

"Yung mga masisikip na kalsada, yung pag clear nito lalo na yung mga sasakyan, mga nakaambala na matutulis na bagay sa kalsada kailangan maalis. Tsaka yung mga kable ng kuryente na medyo malapit nang bumaba, kailangan ma-clear din ito," he added.

Also read: Nazareno feast kicks off with thanksgiving procession

Pagdilao refused to divulge how many policemen will be deployed for the procession but assured the public that there will be more than enough to secure the areas where the Black Nazarene will pass.

According to Pagdilao, they will deploy personnel from the SWAT team, Explosive Ordnance Division, Emergency Response Group, Highway Patrol Group, and Intelligence Division.

He said the PNP has not monitored any threats on the event but they remain extra vigilant nonetheless. The police force, according to Pagdilao, will remain on heightened alert until the end of the procession.