2000 Soldiers Will be Deployed to Secure Philippines’ Black Nazarene Feast

01/08/2019 Philippines (International Christian Concern) – Every year on January 9, millions of Filipinos gather in Manila for a procession of the Black Nazarene, a life-sized, dark-colored wooden statue of Christ carried into the streets by barefooted men. Catholic devotees climb over each other to touch, kiss, or rub bits of cloth on the statue, which is believed to hold miraculous powers.

Last Sunday, local police arrested a 42-year-old vendor outside the Quiapo church in Manila, where the Feast will be held in three days, after they found an improvised gun and two 12-gauge shotgun cartridges inside his bag.

Coderias was subsequently detained at the Sta. Cruz Police Station where he faces charges of illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

In order to ensure a peaceful celebration tomorrow, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) has been placed on full alert status and will deploy some 7,200 personnel during the Traslacion. This number is to be augmented by 2,000 soldiers deployed by the military.

Although the Metro Manila Police clarified today that there is “no verified information” of any security threat against the Traslacion, Chief of NCRPO Director Guillermo Eleazar said, “We have no verified information of any threat, but as instructed by our Chief Philippine National Police, we will continue coordinating with various agencies so that we will not grow complacent.”

For interviews with Gina Goh, ICC’s Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org

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