The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) said the celebration of the feast of the Black Nazarene remains peaceful as of 9 a.m. on Saturday.
NCRPO chief, Brig. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr., in a text message to the Philippine News Agency (PNA), said they have not received any report on untoward incidents as of this time.
Danao estimated the number of devotees near Quiapo Church at 22,840, with another 130 at the San Sebastian Church, 100 at the Sta. Cruz Church, and 80 at the Nazarene Catholic School.
He described the situation as “calm and peaceful”, with no one being arrested for violating the liquor ban being implemented in Manila.
In an advisory issued at 8 a.m. on Saturday, telecommunications giant PLDT said in compliance with the order of the National Telecommunications Commission, it has temporarily shut down prepaid Wi-Fi services in some areas in Manila that cover all known prayer stations and routes of the Black Nazarene “in the interest of national security.”
“The shutdown will also include areas surrounding the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene (Quiapo Church), Sta. Cruz Parish, and the Minor Basilica of San Sebastian. Services will be restored as soon as we get the go-signal from the authorities. Thank you for your understanding,” it said.
On Friday, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso suspended classes in all levels, both public and private schools, for the feast.
This year, only 400 devotees would be allowed inside the Quiapo Church in each of the 15 Masses for the annual religious celebration. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News agency