PNP: Manila gun ban in force for Nazarene feast

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 08 2017 01:02 PM | Updated as of Jul 04 2017 11:56 AM

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MANILA -- Authorities have begun enforcing a gun ban in Manila to beef up security for the Feast of the Black Nazarene, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa announced Sunday.

The 48-hour suspension of all Permits to Carry Firearms Outside of Residence in Manila is in place from 8 a.m. on Sunday to 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Dela Rosa told radio DZMM.

"Ang authorized magdala ng armas ay iyung uniformed policemen lang at saka military na nandiyan sa area. Wala pong ibang pwedeng magdala," he added.

(Only police and military personnel in uniform are authorized to carry firearms. Nobody else is allowed to do so.)

The procession of the wooden, life-sized statue of Jesus Christ kneeling with a heavy cross on his shoulder has been celebrated in the Manila for more than 200 years.

Every year, millions of devotees crowd the carriage bearing the ebony statue believed to have healing powers, in the hope that a slight touch would bless them, heal their illnesses and those of their relatives.

The PNP has requested telecommunication firms to cut off mobile phone services in Manila during the procession amid reports that terror groups may launch an attack during the "traslacion."

Authorities have also discouraged devotees from carrying backpacks and wearing caps. -- With Reuters