Sunday, January 06, 2013

PNP evaluating possibility to cut cell signals during Nazarene procession


The Philippine National Police is continuously evaluating preparations whether disrupting mobile phone signals would be necessary during the procession highlighting the Feast of the Black Nazarene in Manila, like it did last year.
PNP spokesman Chief Superintendent Generoso Cerbo Jr. said they are constantly communicating with stakeholders about the preparations for this coming week's event.

"'Yan naman patuloy nating pinag-aaralan kung kailangan bang putulin ang signals o hindi. Ito naman ay subject to changes from time to time," he said on government-run dzRB radio.

He said they are evaluating possible threats from various groups, though he said the Metro Manila police may eventually decide on the matter.
Asked if they have noted a specific threat to the Jan. 9 event, he said, "sa ngayon wala naman."

In last year's feast, the government claimed a terrorist group was out to disrupt the activity, and had telecom firms disrupt mobile phone signals during the procession.

Several people in the Quiapo area and surrounding places suffered from inconvenience as the procession lasted 22 hours.

Millions of devotees are expected to flock to Manila this coming week to take part in the feast in honor of the Black Nazarene.

Devotees believe the image, housed in Manila's Quiapo Church, has miraculous powers.

Security preparations

In MalacaƱang, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the security preparations this year will be “equally strict” as they were last year.

But she declined to elaborate on whether there will be special security preparations and a security briefing, which the Palace had called last year.

“Last year’s case was very different. But for this year, the security measures will be equally strict,” she said.

She also said Metro Manila police chief Director Leonardo Espina had been meeting with church and local government officials as to the preparations.


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