Palace defends PNP’s security measures for Traslacion 2020

Robie de Guzman

Filipino policemen try to control a crowd of devotees during the Black Nazarene to mark its feast day in Manila, Philippines, 09 January 2020.  EPA-EFE/FRANCIS R. MALASIG

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Thursday defended the strict security measures imposed by the Philippine National Police (PNP) for this year’s Traslacion in Manila.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the stringent measures were enforced to ensure the safety and security of Catholic devotees participating in the annual event.

“The PNP has to undertake measures that will provide for the safety of those devotees, it may be strict but the goal is protect them from any harm,” he said in a Palace briefing.

Panelo made the statement in reaction to criticisms and frustrations expressed by some devotees and netizens over the increased police deployment during the procession.   

During the procession, policemen formed a so-called “Andas wall,” which consists of hundreds of cops guarding the andas (carriage) from devotees.

Police’s move to set up barbed wires of the beams of the Ayala bridge, and the placement of container vans along some parts of the Traslacion route also drew mixed reactions.

The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) earlier explained the installation of barbed wires on the bridge’s beams is to prevent devotees from scaling its frames.

This year’s Traslacion took a shorter and slightly different route through the Ayala bridge instead of Jones bridge which has been used for years.

More than 13,000 policemen were deployed to secure the event. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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