MANILA - At least 2.5 million Catholic faithful joined the Black Nazarene procession this year, the Metro Manila police chief said Tuesday night.
National Capital Region Police Office chief Director Oscar Albayalde said more women and children joined this year's Traslacion.
"Last year, iyun pong talagang sumali lang sa prusisyon, more or less nasa 1.5 [million], ngayon nasa 2.5 hanggang more or less mga 4 to 5 million, yung lahat pong dumalo kasama [na ang] midnight mass," Albayalde told radio DZMM.
"Well hindi [lang po] kababaihan, pati po yung mga bata, madaming bata tayong nakita. Between mga 10 to 15 years old. Ang dami po talagang pumunta."
He said police has not recorded any major crime, and only a few incidents of pickpocketing, while around 300 persons required medical attention, according to the Department of Health.
"As of this time, wala pa po tayong naitatalagang kahit anong insidente, sana magtuloy-tuloy ito hanggang matapos itong Traslacion natin. Maliban po of course dun sa mga nangailangan ng medical attention," he said.
"Maliban doon, wala po tayong insidente kahit po snatching, wala po. Meron mangilan-ilan kahapon at nahuli naman. Pickpocketing yung insidente. At meron pong mangilan-ngilang nawawalang bata, nahiwalay sa kanilang magulang ngunit naibalik naman po," he added.
Albayalde, meanwhile, said the cooperation of the devotees led to a much faster procession compared to previous years, which usually took 20 hours or more to reach the Black Nazarene's home in Quiapo Church.
"Unang-una, yun pong mga kooperasyon na rin ng ating mga deboto, yung mga hijos atsaka mga namamasan natin kaya po bumilis ito. At the same time, yun pong pagsalubong ng mga imahe, tinanggal po yan at pinarada na lang along Finance Road," he said.
"Ngunit, ngayon may kaunting aberya, may report po tayo parang naflatan yata, nasiraan yata ng isang gulong pero umuusad pa rin po. Hinahatak na po ng parang forklift ngayon."
He added that around 7,000 law enforcers from the PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines have been deployed for Traslacion.
As of 9:40 p.m., the carriage of the Black Nazarene was along Aguila Street on its way to Carcer Street in Manila.