MANILA -- The Manila Police District (MPD) on Thursday said there has been no clear and present threat to the conduct of the annual 'Traslacion' or procession in line with the feast of the Black Nazarene on January 9.
"As of now, we have no actual, direct, or imminent threat indicating clear and present danger to the Traslacion. So, it's a go," MPD Chief Supt. Joel Coronel said in a press conference on Thursday.
Coronel said they are not ruling out the possibility of cancelling the 'Traslacion' in case they receive information of such threats.
But, the MPD official explained that assessment or evaluation would be conducted, adding that such decision would have the approval of the organizers.
"That would depend on the assessment or evaluation to be made by the intelligence committee and subject to the approval of the organizers and the executive committee," Coronel said.
"In the event that there is a threat that would be reported to us and upon the recommendation, then that is the time we would act on it," he added.
On the other hand, Quiapo Church officials said they continue to pray that everything would work as planned and they are prepared in case of any untoward incidents.
Rector Msgr. Hernando "Ding" Coronel noted that they have close coordination with national and local agencies.
"We just hope and pray for the best and prepare for the worst. What we can say is we will continue to be vigilant on our own and in coordination with our partner agencies," he said.
Parochial Vicar Fr. Douglas Badong added that they are fully prepared for the occasion.
"In a worst case scenario, we have Plan A and Plan B. We are ready depending on the scenario," he said.
Some 19 million people are estimated to join in the feast of the Black Nazarene, to be concluded by the grand procession from the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta to the Quiapo Church.
Coronel assured that they are already taking all necessary steps to secure all venues of the festivities and activities.
He added that 7,000 to 9,000 personnel from the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the Philippine Coast Guard shall be deployed to secure the event.
The MPD chief urged the public to be vigilant and to report authorities in case they see or suspect something.
"Our appeal to the community also is if you see something, say something. If you suspect something, bring it to the attention of the police so that appropriate action can be taken," Coronel added.
Source: Philippine News Agency