MANILA -- The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is urging devotees of the Black Nazarene to join the “Pahalik” and “Traslacion” on Sunday and Monday, saying fears of terror threats will just “fulfill the desires of terrorists.”
“The Faithful are assured that the security forces have prepared for and implemented the security measures they have laid out for the Believers who will flock to the venues of the Pahalik and the Traslacion,” the AFP said in a statement Sunday.
“They should trust that their security forces are out there, among them, and looking over them in the entire period,” it added.
Last Thursday, Interior and Local Government Secretary Ismael Sueno said he has received terror threats from the Maute group and Abu Sayyaf regarding the Black Nazarene procession.
However, both the AFP and the Philippine National Police dismissed rumors of a “credible threat” targeting the procession but are not discounting the possibility of such.
The AFP also urged devotees to follow security rules such as the prohibition of bringing backpacks, guns, pointed objects and drones, as well as throwing of trash.
“Be the additional eyes, ears, and force multiplier to further augment the already beefed up number of military and police personnel by observing people acting suspiciously; or packs left unattended; or other attendees violating established norms,” the AFP said.