Permit to carry arms suspended in parts of Manila for Traslacion
January 08, 2020 - Wednesday 3:01 PM by PNAPROCESSION OF REPLICAS. Thousands of Catholic devotees join the procession of Black Nazarene replicas along Quezon Boulevard, Manila on Tuesday (Jan. 7, 2020). The NCRPO announced the suspension of the permit to carry firearms in some parts of Manila for the feast of the Black Nazarene on Thursday. (PNA photo by Avito Dalan)
MANILA -- The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) on Wednesday announced the suspension of all Permits to Carry Firearms Outside of Residence (PTCFOR) for three days in certain areas in Manila as part of security preparations for the feast of the Black Nazarene on Thursday.
NCRPO acting chief, Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas, said this is to ensure that the Feast of the Black Nazarene will be free from firearm-related incidents and ensure the safety of the public as well as local and foreign tourists.
The memorandum, signed by Philippine National Police (PNP) officer-in-charge, Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa, covers the areas of the capital city specifically in Quiapo, Sta Cruz, and Binondo and effective from 8 a.m. Tuesday (January 7) until 8 a.m. Friday (January 10).
Sinas said Gamboa made the directive in consonance with the concept of enhanced managing police operations in close coordination with the Armed Forces of the Philippines, other law enforcement counterparts and local government units.
"Only members of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and other Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) who are performing official duties and in agency-prescribed uniforms shall be allowed to carry firearms," Sinas said.
"I have absolute faith that this will affect the maintenance of peace and order situation in the concerned areas," he added.
No threat has been received by the NCRPO, Sinas said.
Sinas said that around 16,000 personnel will be joining forces to pave way for a safe and solemn procession of the Black Nazarene on Thursday.
The joint task force is composed of personnel from the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Coast Guard, and volunteers.
Sinas said the police force will cover the procession from the front and sides to prevent intrusion while leaving the back open for devotees.
This way, the procession will not be interrupted and fewer injuries are anticipated, he said in Filipino.
“I cannot guarantee that the police line will not be penetrated because people will really try to, but we will [also] do our best to hold the line,” Sinas added.
The military will also be deploying a thousand of its men, for the first time, to keep an eye on the Ayala Bridge, the only bridge that the procession will pass through this year.
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año has assured the public and devotees that "all bases are covered" as 13,624 police officers will ensure the peaceful and orderly conduct of the procession in celebration of the annual feast of the Black Nazarene.
"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 in a statement.
"This annual display of faith is expected to attract thousands of believers kaya naman siniguro namin na makakaagapay tayo sa pagtitiyak ng seguridad ng lahat (so we want to ensure that we will be able to help in securing everyone)," he added.
Año said that weeks prior to Traslacion, the DILG, the PNP, BFP and other law enforcement units were already in coordination to ensure the smooth conduct of the yearly procession which will transport the Black Nazarene from Quirino Grandstand back to Quiapo Church.
According to the data from the PNP, 2,144 police officers composed of the Regional Mobile Force Battalion and Special Action Force will secure the Andas Wall; 1,065 from the Eastern Police District will handle venue crowd control, and 1,206 from the Regional Headquarters and Patrolmen will be stationed in the Quiapo Church Wall.
A huge chunk of police force will be manning Segment 1-8 from Quirino Grandstand to Plaza Miranda comprising of 7,191 cops; Segment A-G from Arlegui Street to Quezon Avenue with 517 from the Manila Police District; Area Security with 350; and 1,151 for the Support Unit.
He said that 10 firetrucks from the BFP will also be on standby to respond to any untoward fire incidents while three water assets from the Philippine Coast Guard will also be deployed.
The DILG Chief also seeks the public and devotees' cooperation during the conduct of Traslacion 2020 to avoid any accident during the procession.
He said that no matter how much the local government unit and other government entities have prepared, "if the participating public and devotees won't behave accordingly, accidents may still happen."
As the Manila City government suspended work and classes on Thursday, Año encourages parents and devotees who wish to experience Traslacion 2020 to refrain from bringing children, the elderly, and the sick to the procession for security and safety reasons.
Among the traditional activities included in the celebration of the feast of Black Nazarene are the procession of replicas, the “pahalik”, vigil, the Holy Mass, as well as the Traslacion which will start at 5:30 a.m. (PNA)
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