UK warns of possible terror threats ahead of 'traslacion'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 08 2017 12:39 PM | Updated as of Jan 08 2017 02:21 PM

The image of the Black Nazarene makes its way through a multitude of devotees at the start of the procession at the Quirino Grandstand. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA -- The embassy of the United Kingdom has issued a travel advisory on Saturday warning of possible terror threats to the Monday procession of the Black Nazarene.

“The Philippine Ministry of Interior has received information on possible terror threats to the procession of the Black Nazarene,” the embassy said in an advisory.

The embassy also advised British nationals to “take particular care in crowded areas and follow the advice of the local authorities.”

“Road closures and crowds of people will make travel in the downtown Manila area difficult or impossible and telecommunications will be disrupted,” they added.

Last Thursday, Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Ismael Sueno said they have received threats from local terrorists such as the Maute group and the Abu Sayyaf over the January 9 traslacion of the Black Nazarene.

Sueno expressed fears of “retaliatory” action from terrorists following the death of a leader of pro-Islamic State group Ansar Al-Khalifah Philippines in Sarangani on Thursday morning.

Philippine National Police chief, Director General Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa, however, is confident that this year’s procession will be safe and allayed fears of devotees, telling them “Don’t be afraid. God is with us.”

This year, around 16 to 18 million of Filipino Catholic devotees are expected to flock to Quiapo on Monday to join the procession of the Black Nazarene which is usually marked by injuries and deaths.