AROUND 6,000 members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) will be deployed in connection with the Feast of the Black Nazarene today, January 9.
MPD Director PBGen. Leo Francisco said the security plans were laid out as early as Thursday midnight. Twenty nine control points will be guarded to prevent a surge of devotees.
Once the number of devotees trooping to the church reach the point of nearly filling up the Quiapo Church, the crowds will have to be stopped from coming in.
Francisco also said that no one will be allowed to spend the night in the church vicinity and that a single entry point had been designated for those who will attend Mass inside the Quiapo Church.
“Ang City of Manila may curfew alas-12 ng gabi hanggang alas-4 ng umaga. Ang Misa natin magsisimula ng 4:30 kaya sinasabi ko sa mga deboto na ‘wag mag-violate ng any IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) protocol dahil talagang ipapatupad namin ito,” said Francisco.
Meanwhile, Francisco said only those aged 18 to 65 will be allowed inside the Church as authorities said that going there barefoot will be prohibited, along with the wiping of towels and handkerchiefs usually being done on the image of the Black Nazarene.
Father Douglas Badong, parochial vicar of the Quiapo Church, said the prohibition is due to the pandemic.
Badong also advised those feeling symptoms of COVID-19 to no longer go to Quiapo since they can hear the Masses online.