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JAN 9: CLASSES, GOVT WORK SUSPENDED IN MANILA ON NAZARENE FEAST[RELATED: Black Nazarene feast a target of terrorists, sources say]


JANUARY 5 -Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada on Thursday announced the suspension of classes at all levels and work in government offices in the city of Manila on Monday, Jan. 9, in anticipation of the millions of devotees that will flock to the streets for the Black Nazarene procession. Estrada made the announcement in a press briefing on security preparations for the Traslacion at Quiapo Church. He said work in government offices will be suspended except those involved in peace and order, traffic enforcement, disaster and risk reduction management, health and sanitation, issuance of business permits, and collection of taxes. READ MORE...RELATED, Black Nazarene feast a target of terrorists, sources say...

ALSO: Nazarene terror threat: UK, US issue warning
[RELATED: 'NO CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER' PNP wants cellphone signals shut down in parts of Manila during Traslacion]


JANUARY 8 -THEN AND NOW: Top photo provided by Ildefonso Tronqued Jr. shows the Black Nazarene procession going through Dasmariñas street in Binondo during the 1930s when Quiapo was populated by the middle class and the celebration of the annual feast was less chaotic. Below, devotees jostle for position around a Black Nazarene carriage during a parade of replicas in Quiapo, Manila yesterday ahead of the feast day celebration tomorrow.
The United Kingdom and the United States have advised their citizens in the Philippines to take security precautions amid possible terror attacks during the celebration of the Feast of the Black Nazarene tomorrow. The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) yesterday updated its travel advice on the Philippines in view of reports that several members of the IS-inspired Maute terror group are in the capital to disrupt the celebration marked by a massive hours-long procession. READ MORE...RELATED, 'NO CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER' PNP wants cellphone signals shut down in parts of Manila during Traslacion...

ALSO: God will shield devotees; PNP chief 'Bato' tells Black Nazarene faithful not to be afraid despite security concerns
[RELATED: AFP to Black Nazarene devotees: Don't be afraid, join Traslacion]


JANUARY 8 -PNP Chief Bato reacts to alleged terror threat on Monday’s Traslacion There is a chance that there could be terror threats for Monday’s feast of the Black Nazarene, following the death of the leader of the ‘Ansar Khalifa Philippines.’“Don’t be afraid. God is with us. Hindi tayo pababayaan (We won’t be forsaken).” -de la Rosa DZRH FILE PHOTO
This is the message of Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa to the millions of Black Nazarene devotees who are expected to join the Traslacion as part of the celebration of the feast of Black Nazarene tomorrow, January 9. Dela Rosa, who confirmed the presence of a serious threat from terror groups, said God’s love and protection will shield millions of devout Catholics expected to flock to Manila for the Black Nazarene procession from any retaliatory attack from Mindanao-based terror groups or even drug syndicates. The PNP chief said the terror threat is to avenge the death of the leader of Al-Khilafa Philippines (AKP) in a police operation in Sarangani last Thursday. READ MORE...RELATED, AFP to Black Nazarene devotees: Don't be afraid, join Traslacion...

ALSO: Oplan Galugad Operation - Manila cops raid Islamic Center


JANUARY 8 -Policemen raided the Islamic Center in Quiapo, Manila early yesterday morning and brought around 80 men, including seven minors, to the Manila Police District (MPD) headquarters, following reports of threats to the Feast of the Black Nazarene tomorrow. Joven Cagande
Policemen raided the Islamic Center in Quiapo, Manila early yesterday morning and brought around 80 men, including seven minors, to the Manila Police District (MPD) headquarters, following reports of threats to the Feast of the Black Nazarene tomorrow. Chief Insp. Jay Dimaandal, head of MPD’s District Special Operations Unit, said the police operation was part of the “regular Oplan Galugad” search operation. It was National Capital Region Police Office chief Director Oscar Albayalde who ordered the conduct of Oplan Galugad in Muslim areas suspected as lairs of terrorist groups, including the detention cells occupied by Muslim groups in Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City. READ MORE...RELATED,
PNP on full alert for Maute in Metro Manila...

ALSO: Duterte satisfied with traslacion preparations
[RELATED: Black Nazarene devotion manifests plight of Pinoys: analyst]


JANUARY 8 -As much as 18 million people are expected to attend the traslacion, which commemorates the transfer of the 1767 cross-bearing image of Jesus Christ from Intramuros to Quiapo.
President Rodrigo Duterte is satisfied with the preparations for the traslacion of the Black Nazarene, which is expected to draw millions of devotees throughout the country despite the security warnings issued by authorities, Malacañang said Sunday. As much as 18 million people are expected to attend the traslacion, which commemorates the transfer of the 1767 cross-bearing image of Jesus Christ from Intramuros to Quiapo. Security officials previously warned of possible terror threats to the religious event but assured the public that efforts are underway to ensure the safety of participants. “Well, yes, the president is satisfied and he knows that if there is something that worries him it would be the threat of the retaliation from terrorist groups… Of course, we would not pray that it would happen,” Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Ana Maria Banaag told state-run radio station dzRB.
READ MORE...RELATED, Black Nazarene devotion manifests plight of Pinoys: analyst...

ALSO:
PNP bars media from annual Camp Crame N Year’s courtesy call [RELATED: In 2017, ‘Bato’ wishes for more time to sleep, rest, exercise]


JANUARY 6 -Photo Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa, PNP, New Year's call, camp crame:  PNP spokesperson Senior Supt. Dionardo Carlos sent to the media a photo of PNP chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa while delivering a speech before top police commanders during the traditional New Year’s call. The media were not allowed to cover the annual event for the first time in years.
For the first time in years, the Philippine National Police prevented the media from covering the traditional New Year’s call held annually in Camp Crame. Every January, top PNP officials, heads of PNP’s directorial units, national support units, regional police directors and their spouses pay courtesy calls on the PNP chief. Unlike in the previous years, reporters and cameramen were allowed to set up inside the PNP’s multipurpose center an hour before the event. READ MORE...RELATED,
In 2017, ‘Bato’ wishes for more time to sleep, rest, exercise ...


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Classes, gov’t work suspended in Manila on Nazarene feast


Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada attends the press briefing on the preparations for the Feast of the Black Nazarene around Quiapo on January 9. YUJI VINCENT GONZALES/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, JANUARY 9, 2016 (PHILSTAR) By: Yuji Vincent Gonzales - Reporter / @YGonzalesINQ INQUIRER.net / 11:33 AM January 05, 2017 - Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada on Thursday announced the suspension of classes at all levels and work in government offices in the city of Manila on Monday, Jan. 9, in anticipation of the millions of devotees that will flock to the streets for the Black Nazarene procession.

Estrada made the announcement in a press briefing on security preparations for the Traslacion at Quiapo Church.

He said work in government offices will be suspended except those involved in peace and order, traffic enforcement, disaster and risk reduction management, health and sanitation, issuance of business permits, and collection of taxes.

READ MORE...

Estrada assured the public that the “full force of the city hall is already in place” for this year’s grand procession, which is expected to draw at least 15 million people.

The annual grand procession, the largest in the predominantly Catholic Philippines, commemorates the first parade transferring the revered statue of Jesus Christ from a church in Intramuros to the Quiapo Church on Jan. 9, 1767. IDL/rga

RELATED STORIES CLICK LINKS:

No cellphone signal during Black Nazarene rites; drones banned


The government will turn off cellular phone signals during the Traslacion or procession of the Black Nazarene in Manila on Jan. 9, 2017, as a security measure. Drones will also be banned from being flown along the procession route and venues. AP FILE

Trim toenails, barefoot devotees of Black Nazarene told


In this photo, taken Monday, Jan. 2, 2017, a young boy gets some help from his adult companion to reach up and kiss the exposed toes of the Black Nazarene figure which is kept in a glass case inside Quiapo church. The annual procession on the Feast of the Black Nazarene will be observed on Jan. 9, 2016. (Photo by LYN RILLON/Philippine Daily Inquirer)

VIDEO NAZARENO SA QUIAPO 2015 - SHOWS EXAMPLE OF DEEP CHAOTIC DEVOTION BY GNA NEWS REPORTER CHITO GASTON

 
https://youtu.be/msgw6WAz134?t=316
GMA reporter helps fulfill ailing devotee’s vow to Black Nazarene Published January 9, 2015 1:15pm - See more at: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/401106/lifestyle/gma-reporter-helps-fulfill-ailing-devotee-s-vow-to-black-nazarene#sthash.ZNZWE7uP.dpuf

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RELATED FROM GMA NEWS NETWORK

Black Nazarene feast a target of terrorists, sources say Published January 4, 2017 8:23pm Updated January 4, 2017 8:37pm

Sources in the intelligence community have warned of possible terrorist attacks during the Feast of the Black Nazarene on Monday, GMA News' Jun Veneracion reported on "24 Oras" Wednesday.

The sources said reports of the threat came to fore following the tactical interrogation of suspects in the Davao City night market bombing that killed 15 in September.

One suspect had admitted that one of their plans was to attack during the Black Nazarene event, which usually attracts millions of devotees.

Another indicator was the string of incidents such as the foiled bombing at the US Embassy in Manila and the IED explosion in Hilongos, Leyte.

READ MORE...

The report said terror groups consider January 9 as the culmination of their terrorist efforts, their "D-Day." These groups include members of the Maute group currently being hunted in Metro Manila.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police, nonetheless, assured the public that there no specific security threat have been monitored for the feast of the Black Nazarene.

“Wala tayong specific threat na natatanggap tungkol sa anumang maaring banta sa seguridad ng prusisyon o ng mga taong magsisidalo dito,” AFP Public Information chief Col. Edgard Arevalo said.

“Kung merong ulat o merong information diyan ipapaalam namin. Right now wala naman po [threat],” PNP spokesperson Sr. Supt. Dionardo Carlos, for his part, said.

Nonetheless, NCRPO director Chief Supt. Oscar Albayalde said the PNP was not discounting any threat in Metro Manila.

"Our intelligence operations are in place. Hindi tayo tumigil diyan because of these threat groups. We are not discounting the fact or possibility na meron talagang mga grupo dito sa Metro Manila," Albayalde said.

Security analyst Rommel Banlaoi said it was no surprise that terror groups are targeting major public events such as the Black Nazarene's feast.

"Ito ay isa sa mga pagkakataon na gusto nilang isagawa yung sinasabi nilang jihad nila. Maraming silang mata-target diyan, mga nasa 15 million. So para sa kanila napakasarap targetin ito," Banlaoi said.

Banlaoi said terrorists also planned to bomb the annual tradition in 2005 and in 2012, when former President Benigno Aquino III admitted the presence of a security threat. —Joseph Tristan Roxas/NB, GMA News

 
https://youtu.be/7pTPRURRyVs?t=33
TERRORISMO SA NAZARENO? 24 ORAS GMA NEWS VIDEO


PHILSTAR

Nazarene terror threat: UK, US issue warning By Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) | Updated January 8, 2017 - 12:00am 2 2 googleplus0 0


THEN AND NOW: Top photo provided by Ildefonso Tronqued Jr. shows the Black Nazarene procession going through Dasmariñas street in Binondo during the 1930s when Quiapo was populated by the middle class and the celebration of the annual feast was less chaotic. Below, devotees jostle for position around a Black Nazarene carriage during a parade of replicas in Quiapo, Manila yesterday ahead of the feast day celebration tomorrow.

MANILA, Philippines – The United Kingdom and the United States have advised their citizens in the Philippines to take security precautions amid possible terror attacks during the celebration of the Feast of the Black Nazarene tomorrow.

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) yesterday updated its travel advice on the Philippines in view of reports that several members of the IS-inspired Maute terror group are in the capital to disrupt the celebration marked by a massive hours-long procession.

READ MORE...

“The Philippine Ministry of Interior has received information on possible terrorist threats to the procession. Road closures and crowds of people will make travel in the downtown Manila area difficult or impossible and telecommunications will be disrupted,” read the warning.

“You should take particular care in crowded places and follow the advice of the local authorities,” the FCO told its nationals in the Philippines.

But Interior and Local Government Secretary Ismael Sueno clarified yesterday there is no specific or immediate threat to security during the Quiapo procession based on information relayed to him by the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA).


DILG CHIEF SUENO

On Friday, the United States embassy also issued a security message advising American nationals in the country of road closures and massive pedestrian and vehicle traffic in the capital due to the procession and other related activities.

“The police have also warned that all cell phone coverage will be jammed in the vicinity of areas along the route of the procession, with expected cell phone disruptions throughout Metro Manila,” said the US embassy.

While not directly addressing the Nazarene procession terror threat, the US embassy urged its citizens to take preventive measures to ensure their safety and security while traveling in the Philippines.

“The Department of State Worldwide Caution, dated Sept. 9, 2016, indicates there is an ongoing threat of terrorist actions and violence against US citizens and interests abroad, including the Philippines,” read the security message.

“Extremists have targeted sporting events, theaters, markets, mass transportation systems – including airlines – and other public venues where large crowds gather. Crowded nightclubs, shopping malls, buses and popular restaurants have also been targets,” it added.

The US embassy is closed tomorrow.

In a Palace briefing on Thursday, Sueno said there was a possible terror threat during the annual Black Nazarene procession attended by millions.

In a phone interview yesterday, Sueno said NICA head Alex Paul Monteagudo told him during a command conference in Malacañang on Friday that they have no information regarding “specific, current or imminent threat” to security during the procession.

Sueno said that in his statement on Thursday about terror threats, he was referring to ongoing threats following several bombing incidents in Mindanao last year, including the deadly night market explosion in Davao City in September.

“I never said there was a specific, current or definite threat related

to the Traslacion,” Sueno said, referring to the procession where the image of the Black Nazarene is transferred from the Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park to Quiapo Church.

However, Sueno said security forces would not let their guard down.

“Whether there is a threat or not, we have to double our safety preparations because this involves around 13 to 15 million people,” he said.

To ensure the safety of the participants of the procession, Sueno said approximately 15,700 police and fire personnel would be deployed for the event.

“We have standard security protocols and we are ready with or without a threat,” he maintained. – Emmanuel Tupas

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RELATED FROM GMA NEWS NETWORK

'NO CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER' PNP wants cellphone signals shut down in parts of Manila during Traslacion Published January 8, 2017 12:52pm

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa on Sunday said he is asking the National Telecommunications Commission to shutdown cellphone signals on Monday as part of security measures for the Traslacion of the Black Nazarene.

In a radio dzBB interview, Dela Rosa said the NTC is expected to make a decision anytime today.

"Ngayon natin malalaman at ito'y pinadaan namin sa NTC. Nire-request namin na hindi lang i-jam kung hindi i-shutdown talaga yung signal diyan sa area na yan para makasiguro tayo," Dela Rosa said.

Authorities have said that signal jammers will be activated during the Traslacion, which is scheduled to start at around 7 a.m. and may last for at least 12 hours.

In a dzBB separate interview, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said that Malacañang will be covered by the signal jammers.

Dela Rosa, meanwhile, said they are asking the NTC to shutdown cellphone signals until midnight.

"Umaga hanggang matapos, kasi mag-start na 'yan ng umaga hanggang gabi... 'di naman ito buong araw kung hindi sa umaga lang hanggang alas dose. Hindi naman tayo aabutin ng 24 hours," he said.

He said that if the request is granted by the NTC, Malacañang will also be covered by the shutdown. He did not say which areas will also be covered.

"Maaring maapektuhan ang Malacañang kasi pag nag-shutdown sa Manila kasama ang Malacañang 'pag pinatay yung signal sa lahat ng service provider," Dela Rosa said.

Despite the move, Dela Rosa allayed concerns of possible terror attacks during the Traslacioin.

No clear and present danger

He said the PNP has yet to monitor any specific threats to the Black Nazarene procession, which usually draws millions of devotees.

Organizers said they are expecting at least 15 million people to participate in activities during the feast, but only 1.5 to 2 million people are expected to join the Traslacion.

"Wala pa kami na-monitor na clear and present danger but tayo ay naghahanda. Naniniguro lang... Wag po tayong mag-alala malakas po tayo kay Lord. God is always with us ang importante lang maging mapagmasid lang tayong lahat," Dela Rosa said.

Andanar, meanwhile, urged the public to always be vigilant during the procession.

"Taun-taon naman ay may threat sa ginagawang Traslacion at ang police at ang [Manila] LGU (local government unit) ay on top of this," he said.

He added: "Let's be alert all the time at kung may kakaibang mapapansin ay i-report kaagad ito sa mga kinauukulan."

The United Kingdom's embassy in Manila has issued a travel advisory, warning British nationals of possible terror threats to the Black Nazarene procession.

The embassy said in the advisory that the possible terror threat was based on information from the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno had denied that they provided any information to the embassy. He said the embassy could used reports based on his press conference in Malacañang late last week, where he revealed the possible prense of the Maute terror group in Metro Manila.

No backpacks, firearms

Meanwhile, Dela Rosa reminded the public of the PNP's suspension of permits to carry firearms in Manila during the Traslacion.

"Sinuspinde natin yung permit to carry firearms outside of residence sa area ng buong Manila area so bawal magdala ng armas kahit sinuman. Ang puwede lang magdala diyan yung mga unipormado lang na pulis at military," he said.

The PNP chief also discouraged devotees joining the procession from bringing backpacks and wearing caps.

"Dini-discourage natin 'yan pero kung 'di mapigilan dapat yung mga transparent lang na backpack. Yung nakikita natin yung laman para 'di na kayo ma-inconvenient dahil marami tayong dine-deploy na mga forces. Mainam 'wag na kayo magdala ng backpack, pati cellphone," Dela Rosa said.

"Pati yung cap kung pwede... di naman siguro mainit bukas. 'Wag na rin sila magsuot ng cap para identified lahat, nahahagip lahat ng mukha sa CCTV para malaman natin kung sinu-sino nandiyan," he added. —Joseph Tristan Roxas/ALG, GMA News


MANILA BULLETIN

God will shield devotees PNP chief tells Black Nazarene faithful not to be afraid despite security concerns 1 SHARES Share it! Published January 8, 2017, 12:11 AM By Aaron B. Recuenco


JANUARY 8 -PNP Chief Bato reacts to alleged terror threat on Monday’s Traslacion There is a chance that there could be terror threats for Monday’s feast of the Black Nazarene, following the death of the leader of the ‘Ansar Khalifa Philippines.’“Don’t be afraid. God is with us. Hindi tayo pababayaan (We won’t be forsaken).” -de la Rosa DZRH FILE PHOTO

This is the message of Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa to the millions of Black Nazarene devotees who are expected to join the Traslacion as part of the celebration of the feast of Black Nazarene tomorrow, January 9.

Dela Rosa, who confirmed the presence of a serious threat from terror groups, said God’s love and protection will shield millions of devout Catholics expected to flock to Manila for the Black Nazarene procession from any retaliatory attack from Mindanao-based terror groups or even drug syndicates.

The PNP chief said the terror threat is to avenge the death of the leader of Al-Khilafa Philippines (AKP) in a police operation in Sarangani last Thursday.

READ MORE...


Prelude to the big one Devotees attempt to touch one of the replicas of the Black Nazarene in yesterday’s traditional blessing or ‘Pabasbas’ along Quezon Boulevard in Quiapo, Manila. The ‘Pabasbas’ is just one of the activities held ahead of the procession or Traslacion during the Feast of the Black Nazarene where millions more are expected to pack the streets on January 9. (Jay Ganzon|Manila Bulletin) Prelude to the big one Devotees attempt to touch one of the replicas of the Black Nazarene in yesterday’s traditional blessing or ‘Pabasbas’ along Quezon Boulevard in Quiapo, Manila. The ‘Pabasbas’ is just one of the activities held ahead of the procession or Traslacion during the Feast of the Black Nazarene where millions more are expected to pack the streets on January 9. (Jay Ganzon|Manila Bulletin)

But Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada downplayed the terror threat, assuring instead the safety and security of millions of devotees who are expected to gather at the Quiapo Church to pay homage to the Black Nazarene on Monday. He said the possibility of a terror threat is “very minimal.”

“Our security organizations have not detected any terror threat related to Traslacion. The possibility of such terror attack is very minimal,” the Manila mayor said.

Police had earlier doused speculations of bomb attack for the Traslacion amid a series of bomb blasts – first in Davao City and the latest in Leyte, as well as the foiled bomb attack near the US embassy in Manila.

Investigators had raised the possibility of an alliance of terror groups and drugs syndicate that led to the Leyte bombing.

But the PNP changed its tune when AKP leader Mohammad Jaafar Maguid was killed in the police operation. Maguid’s group claims links with the ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria).

“There’s possible retaliation coming from the ISIS-inspired terror groups in Mindanao, especially from the AKP wherein the leader was killed,” said Dela Rosa.

Asked to describe the threat they received, Dela Rosa replied: “Serious.”

But he was quick to say that devotees have nothing to be afraid of.

“We have our actions taken but we cannot really divulge it to the public, lahat ng aming plano (all our plans), otherwise magiging ineffective lahat yan kapag alam ng lahat (all will become ineffective if its made known to everybody),” said Dela Rosa.

All the improvised bombs used in the past where cellphone-detonated and part of the security masures is to set up signal jammers.

Dela Rosa, however, said that the biggest protection will come from God as he stressed that devotees should not be afraid of the threats from various groups as long as they cooperate with the authorities.

“Basta tayong lahat naman ay magmamatyag, magmamasid, vigilant. I am encouraging everyone while naka-focus tayo sa celebration we also focus on the safety and security aspect of that festivity,” said Dela Rosa.

“Kailangan natin magbantay, lahat tayo mag-cooperate para hindi tayo masingitan. Yan po ang hinihiling ko sa lahat ng mga devotees ng Black Nazarene,” he added.

It was learned that aside from the 2,000 cops that will be deployed by the National Capital Region Police Office, several teams from Central Luzon and Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon) regions will be tapped to secure the Traslacion.

As part of the security preparations, at least 80 individuals were arrested after police swooped down on the Islamic Center in Quiapo, Manila, early yesterday.

Authorities said that the operation was conducted to confiscate illegal firearms and contrabands to properly secure the safety of the millions of devotees and to ensure the peace and order during the procession of the Black Nazarene tomorrow.

The “One-Time, Big-Time” operation was conducted at around 3 a.m. on the strength of the search warrants issued by Judge Virgilio Macaraig of Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 37.

As part of the celebration, the “pahalik” or kissing of the image of the Black Nazarene starts today, January 8, at the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta, Manila.

Days before the “pahalik” in Luneta, throngs of devotees patiently waited in line at Quiapo Church to touch or kiss the image.

Other activities at the Quirino Grandstand today are band parade to be followed by an overnight vigil which shall have spiritual talks, youth dance/drama presentations and catechesis.

Yesterday, the procession of the replicas of the Black Nazarene was held around the Quiapo Church area.

The replica procession is being held yearly to somehow decongest the number of people that usually attend the Feast Day celebration every January 9.

At 12 midnight of January 9, there will be a Eucharistic celebration to be led by Quiapo Church Rector Msgr. Hernando Coronel with Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle as homilist.

After the mass, the vigil will continue and at 5 a.m. there will be a Liturgy of the Hours (morning prayer) which will be followed by the annual Traslacion.

THE PROCESSION

The procession route will be as follows:
From Quirino Grandstand, turn left to Katigbak Drive (through Padre Burgos St.), left to Taft Avenue (through Jones Bridge), right to Dasmariñas St., right to Plaza Sta. Cruz, left to Carlos Palanca St. (thru under Quezon Bridge), left to Quezon Blvd, right to Arlegui St., right to Fraternal St., right Vergara St., left to Duque de Alba St., left to Castillejos St., left to Farnecio St., right to Arlegui St., left to Nepomuceno St., left to Concepcion Aguila St., right to Carcer St., right to Hidalgo St. (through Plaza del Carmen), left to Bilibid Viejo (through Gil Puyat), left to JP De Guzman St., right to Hidalgo St., left to Barbosa St., right to Globo de Oro St. (through under Quezon Bridge), right to Palanca St., right to Villalobos St. (through Plaza Miranda) and to Quiapo Church. (With reports from Cris G. Odronia, Analou de Vera, Leslie Ann G. Aquino, and Christina I. Hermoso)

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RELATED FROM GMA NEWS NETWORK

AFP to Black Nazarene devotees: Don't be afraid, join Traslacion Published January 8, 2017 4:46pm By JOSEPH TRISTAN ROXAS, GMA News

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Sunday encouraged devotees of the Black Nazarene to push through with their plan to join the hours-long Traslacion amid reports of possible terror threats to the religious event on Monday.

"They should not be cowed by reports of possible terrorist attacks as that will fulfill the desires of terrorists," Col. Edgard Arevalo, chief of the AFP Public Affairs Office, said Sunday in a statement.

"The AFP advises the devotees to go out and fulfill the beaconing of their faith today for the "Pahalik" and tomorrow during the Feast of the Black Nazarene," he added.

Arevalo assured the devotees of their security during the "Pahalik" and the Traslacion, where millions are expected to attend.

As of noon Sunday, the Philippine National Police said at least 24,000 people have trooped to the Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park for the Pahalik.

"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 Translacion," he said.

Organizers said they are expecting at least 15 million people to participate in activities during the feast, and 1.5 to 2 million people are expected to join the Traslacion.

Arevalo reminded the public to follow security protocols such as the prohibition of backpacks and deadly weapons.

"They should trust that their security forces are out there, among them, and looking over them in the entire period. We still urge the people though to support and cooperate with their security forces," Arevalo said.

"Follow the rules- among others -that proscribes backpacks, guns, pointed objects, drones, throwing of rubbish, and other matters that bear hazards to life and limb," Arevalo said.

Be additional eyes and ears

Meanwhile, Arevalo encouraged devotees to serve as the security forces' additional eyes and ears, and report any untoward incidents or suspicious persons.

"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," he said.

Arevalo said in his statement that the AFP joins the nation as it celebrates the feast of the Black Nazarene and vows to make the event a peaceful profession of faith.

"The AFP joins the nation in earnestly wishing for and working hard towards a solemn, peaceful, and successful professing of faith," Arevalo said.

"Because at the end of the day, this religious event that has thus far drawn The Flock by millions from the country and around the world defines how we can as a people secure our own amidst advisories from other countries reminding their nationals of security threats in the Philippines," he added.

The British Embassy said warned its nationals in a travel advisory issued on Saturday of possible terror threats to the Traslacion, citing information from the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno had denied relaying any information to the embassy on the possible threat to the Traslacion.

In a radio dzBB interview, PNP chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa allayed concerns of possible terror attacks during the Traslacion.

He said the police has yet to monitor any specific threats to the Black Nazarene procession.

"Wala pa kami na-monitor na clear and present danger but tayo ay naghahanda. Naniniguro lang... Wag po tayong mag-alala malakas po tayo kay Lord. God is always with us ang importante lang maging mapagmasid lang tayong lahat," Dela Rosa said. —ALG, GMA News


PHILSTAR

OPLAN GALUGAD: Manila cops raid Islamic Center By Ghio Ong (The Philippine Star) | Updated January 8, 2017 - 12:00am 1 2 googleplus0 0


Policemen raided the Islamic Center in Quiapo, Manila early yesterday morning and brought around 80 men, including seven minors, to the Manila Police District (MPD) headquarters, following reports of threats to the Feast of the Black Nazarene tomorrow. Joven Cagande

MANILA, Philippines – Policemen raided the Islamic Center in Quiapo, Manila early yesterday morning and brought around 80 men, including seven minors, to the Manila Police District (MPD) headquarters, following reports of threats to the Feast of the Black Nazarene tomorrow.

Chief Insp. Jay Dimaandal, head of MPD’s District Special Operations Unit, said the police operation was part of the “regular Oplan Galugad” search operation.

It was National Capital Region Police Office chief Director Oscar Albayalde who ordered the conduct of Oplan Galugad in Muslim areas suspected as lairs of terrorist groups, including the detention cells occupied by Muslim groups in Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City.

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A police team riding in 20 police mobile cars, open vans and 6 x 6 trucks showed up at the Islamic Center along Carlos Palanca Street just across the Quiapo Church past 3 a.m. yesterday.

According to MPD’s Station 8 commander Supt. Olivia Sagaysay whose team also joined the operation in the Muslim Center in Quiapo, raiding policemen were backed by 11 warrants of arrest and two search warrants.

Senior Insp. Salvador Tangdol, head of MPD’s anti-illegal drugs unit, said the police arrested Loren Fahad alias Loren Datu-Haron y Dizon, 49, and Amir Hussein, 17, who were both living at the Islamic Center.

The arrests were covered by a search warrant issued by Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 37 presiding judge Virgilio Macaraig.

Police also seized from Fahad and Hussein 16 sachets containing suspected shabu weighing around 80 grams, two weighing scales and a bundle of transparent plastic.

They will be subjected to an inquest for possible violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, according to Tangdol.

Police raiders also recovered an unlicensed caliber .45 pistol, a hand grenade and some 100 grams of shabu from other men brought to the MPD.

The MPD is still verifying the records of the 80 men they brought to headquarters since past 7 a.m. yesterday. Most of the men said they had nothing to do with any criminal activity in Quiapo, stressing they are only vendors.

In Camp Bagong Diwa, police raiders headed by NCRPO intelligence chief Senior Supt. Eleazar Matta raided the SICA 1 and SICA 2 detention facilities, where members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, Moro National Liberation Front and Moro Islamic Liberation Front are being detained.

Matta told The STAR policemen searched for the cellphones of detainees who might have contact with terrorist groups outside the camp who are planning to conduct bombing runs during tomorrow’s Traslacion.

Earlier, Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno said security threats from extremist groups like the Maute group and the Abu Sayyaf surfaced in relation to the Traslacion, or the traditional procession of the image of the Black Nazarene.

Erap, MPD downplay apprehensions


Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada leads press conference at the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene for the upcoming Black Nazarene feast. Top officials including Manila City Mayor Joseph Estrada, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) General Manager Thomas Orbos, Manila Police District (MPD) Director Police Senior Superintendent Napoleon Coronel, Albayalde and other personnel from different agencies said security measures are already in place for the January 9 translacion. Over 2,000 law enforcers will be deployed on Monday to ensure public security. Police will also have three command posts on Monday: one in Quiapo, the MPD headquarters and one in Luneta Park, COURTESY OF ABS-CBN

But Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada yesterday downplayed apprehensions that terrorist elements would disrupt the Traslacion, saying the possibility of such attacks is “very minimal.”

MPD director Chief Supt. Joel Coronel advised the public to calm down and not entertain any talk of terrorist activity.

Coronel is the overall commander of the 6,000-strong combined police, military and civilian security force that will be deployed to the Traslacion.

The MPD will be backed up by force multipliers composed of barangay officials, paramedics, firefighters, traffic aides and non-governmental organizations.

“Of course, we all agree that the threat exists regarding the possibility of a terror attack in any situation, including the Traslacion of the Black Nazarene. But is there a strong possibility or likelihood that such attacks will happen? Based on the assessment of our intelligence community, it is very minimal,” Coronel said.

He said if the threat is high, security officials would recommend the postponement of the Traslacion, which is expected to be attended by 18 million devotees.

But Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Governor Mujiv Hataman advised Manila’s security forces to consider all possibilities that he Abu Sayyaf and the Maute terror groups can disturb the Traslacion to ensure all its threats will be addressed.


ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Hataman also said it would be hypothetical for him to give assurance that movements of the terror groups can be thwarted down south and be prevented from going to Manila.

Be vigilant too, devotees told Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella advised Black Nazarene devotees to be vigilant too when practicing their faith by taking necessary precautions during the Traslacion.

The MPD reminded again the millions of Black Nazarene devotees not to bring backpacks during the procession to avoid being confronted by security officers.

Coronel said prohibiting the use of backpacks is implemented during events attended by huge crowds because backpacks can be used to bring explosive materials and other dangerous contraband.

“All you need is a hand towel or handkerchief and plastic water bottle,” he said.

“We will check and we will not allow any person carrying backpacks to approach the Black Nazarene’s carrier and the procession,” he added.

For those who need to bring bags, they may deposit or leave them at the 10 command posts located in strategic points.

Coronel also appealed to the public to cooperate to ensure a smooth and safe observance of the religious activity.

“If you notice suspicious-looking persons or situations, please report it to any security personnel. We will go to them and check them,” he added. – With Jose Rodel Clapano, Non Alquitran, Roel Pareño, Christina Mendez, Mary Grace Padin

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

PNP on full alert for Maute in Metro Manila By Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) | Updated January 6, 2017 - 12:00am 0 3 googleplus0 0


Interior and Local Government Secretary Ismael Sueno stressed the threat is real, citing reports from the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) of possible retaliatory attacks from the Maute group and Ansarul Khilafa, whose founding leader Mohammad Jaafar Maguid was killed during an encounter with police in Sarangani early yesterday. File photo

MANILA, Philippines – Security forces have been placed on full alert a few days ahead of the feast of the Black Nazarene in Manila on the possibility of a terror attack.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Ismael Sueno stressed the threat is real, citing reports from the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) of possible retaliatory attacks from the Maute group and Ansarul Khilafa, whose founding leader Mohammad Jaafar Maguid was killed during an encounter with police in Sarangani early yesterday.

Sueno revealed the intelligence community has received information that some members of the Maute group are in Metro Manila. He did not elaborate.

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He said there was also a possible threat from the Abu Sayyaf, which has been the subject of intensified operations of the military in southern Philippines.


Interior and Local Government Secretary Ismael “Mike” Sueno. KING RODRIGUEZ/PPD

“The threat will come from the Maute group and the Abu Sayyaf, mainly the Maute because they are connected with the ISIS,” Sueno said, referring to the Islamic State group by one of its acronyms.

Sueno said the Philippine National Police (PNP) is now on full alert.

“There are reports, that’s why we are not leaving (anything to chance). We have our (security) preparations, we are not leaving anything to chance at all… As long as we know that there is a threat we consider it big already. That’s why our preparations are also big,” he said.

Sueno said full security preparations would extend up to the Miss Universe pageant on Jan. 30.

Asked to assess the level of the threats, Sueno said the information came from the country’s intelligence community, coupled with information provided by their counterparts abroad.

Sueno also warned of potential violent repercussions from the death of Maguid, better known as Commander Tokboy.

“They (Ansarul Khilafa) might retaliate so we have to double our preparations,” Sueno said, citing the upcoming feast of Black Nazarene on Monday.

Khilafa has carried out deadly attacks on civilians in Mindanao in the effort to win support from IS.

“If they are related to ISIS, we are sure their funding is coming from the outside,” Sueno told a briefing held at Malacañang.

Sueno stressed the threat and influence of the Islamic State to homegrown terror groups in the country.

He said the government has assumed that the local terror groups are receiving funding from supporters abroad but did not elaborate.

“We have intelligence reports but we do not have specific (money) trail,” he added.

DUTERTE BRIEFED

Sueno said President Duterte had been briefed on the changes in the national threat board.

He added Duterte would discuss the concerns with PNP officials and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in a command conference today in Malacañang.

Despite the threats, Sueno said the government is not recommending the cancelation of the feast of the Black Nazarene.

“I don’t think that the government will advise the cancellation of this traditional practice… we will just try our best to keep our people safe. This is why we have the PNP, the military and the armed groups in our government to really help contain or maintain peace and order to keep our people safe,” he said.

COAST GUARD

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), for its part, increased its monitoring of passengers coming from the south to Manila as part of the government’s security measures for the feast of Black Nazarene.

Coast Guard spokesman Col. Armand Balilo said the PCG is using sea marshals to board ferries to profile its passengers and to look out for individuals identified or linked with terrorist groups.

“We intensified our intelligence operation to ensure that we would have everything covered, and that they would not be able to slip past our security measures,” Balilo said.

Balilo said they are expecting the threat to come from the south.

“They would most likely try to travel to Manila via ship,” he said.

Balilo said the PCG would be deploying rubber boats to the Pasig River to check and secure the bridges where the Black Nazarene procession would pass.

QUIAPO CHURCH COORDINATING CLOSELY

Quiapo Church rector Monsignor Hernando Coronel assured the public that they are coordinating closely with government security authorities and are given regular updates on security.

“This is a partnership so we rely on the authorities. We are regularly talking (with the other agencies) but not about the speculation,” Coronel said.

When asked if he was worried about the possible security threats that could disrupt the religious procession on Monday, Coronel replied: “We pray. That is the only thing we can do. They (other partner agencies) have their jobs to do. We have to do our respective processes.” – With Evelyn Macairan


PHILSTAR

Duterte satisfied with traslacion preparations By Alexis Romero (philstar.com) | Updated January 8, 2017 - 5:49pm 1 6 googleplus0 0


As much as 18 million people are expected to attend the traslacion, which commemorates the transfer of the 1767 cross-bearing image of Jesus Christ from Intramuros to Quiapo.

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte is satisfied with the preparations for the traslacion of the Black Nazarene, which is expected to draw millions of devotees throughout the country despite the security warnings issued by authorities, Malacañang said Sunday.

As much as 18 million people are expected to attend the traslacion, which commemorates the transfer of the 1767 cross-bearing image of Jesus Christ from Intramuros to Quiapo.

Security officials previously warned of possible terror threats to the religious event but assured the public that efforts are underway to ensure the safety of participants.

“Well, yes, the president is satisfied and he knows that if there is something that worries him it would be the threat of the retaliation from terrorist groups… Of course, we would not pray that it would happen,” Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Ana Maria Banaag told state-run radio station dzRB.

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“It could not be a good precedent to any other big activities in Metro Manila or any other part in the country. So somehow, he knows that the PNP (Philippine National Police), the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) is doing their best, LGUs (local government units) are doing their best to make sure that any threat, any attempt of untoward incident would not push through,” she added.

Asked what assurance the government can give to devotees that they would be protected from terror attack, Banaag said: “You know, we are not God who can cover everything. What we will do is not just best efforts but we will truly work on keeping countrymen safe during the procession.”

Banaag said security forces are not taking chances even if the PNP has not detected specific threats.

“They don’t take for granted any possibility of retaliation efforts from the AKP- ISIS (Ansar al-Khilafah in the Philippines – Islamic State) after the neutralization of their leader. So, with that, they would be putting up measures to avoid any untoward incident,” she said.

Banaag was referring to Mohammad Jaafar Maguid, leader of the pro-ISIS terrorist group AKP, who was killed in a clash in Kiamba, Sarangani last Thursday.

Duterte and his Cabinet members are expected monitor the traslacion during their first meeting for the year Monday in Malacañang.

“We have a Cabinet meeting and we will monitor the traslacion. We pray for the safety of everyone. Don’t worry, the Philippine National Police has been on top of the situation,” Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said in an interview with radio station dzBB.

Last week, Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno said there is a “strong possibility” that members of the Maute armed group may be in Metro Manila to stage attacks during the Traslacion. Police officials claimed though that they have not monitored specific threats to the religious event, one of the biggest in the predominantly Catholic Philippines.

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RELATED FROM ABS-CBN

Black Nazarene devotion manifests plight of Pinoys: analyst Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News Posted at Jan 06 2017 05:21 PM | Updated as of Jan 06 2017 07:03 PM

MANILA - The devotion to the Black Nazarene, highlighted every January 9, manifests the plight of the Filipino working class, a sociologist said on Friday.

Dr. Jayeel Cornelio, sociologist and author of "Being Catholic in the Contemporary Philippines" explained that the Black Nazarene attracts the working class since the icon is seen by many as "someone who understands the plight of the masses."

"The Black Nazarene attracts the working class. This is hardcore everyday struggle of the ordinary Filipino. And why does it attract a lot of people? Because a lot of people are still poor in this country," he said in an interview on "Mornings@ANC."

He clarified that devotees of the Black Nazarene cannot be simply dismissed as fanatics simply because their actions are "not consistent" with the liturgy of the Catholic Church.

"We have to be very careful in readily dismissing them as fanatics.

Even religious experts, people think that they are not mature enough with their faith just because it is not consistent," Cornelio said.

"The devotion to it manifests in many ways people’s aspirations and struggles," he added.

Millions of Filipino Catholic devotees flock to the country's capital every January 9 to join the annual 'Traslacion' which is usually marked by injuries and deaths.

For this year, officials of the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo are expecting around 16 to 18 million devotees to join the procession.

According to Cornelio, participants of the procession are "more authentic" with their faith because "it takes a lot of bravery and willpower to participate in such an event."

"The devotion to the Black Nazarene is a very competitive devotion and is very different from other devotions...it takes a lot of invincibility," Cornelio said, noting that only 10 percent of women who join the procession finish it.

Cornelio also dismissed the notion that the procession is a very individualistic act since most devotees push against each other to be able to touch even just the rope of the Black Nazarene icon.

"In reality it is also a collective act people chant, move along, stay with everybody else... There is an element of spontaneity to it but at the same time there are unwritten rules to it," he said.

Considered by devotees as miraculous, the Black Nazarene icon in Quiapo is renowned by millions of Filipino Catholics who believe that touching the image can cure diseases or help grant wishes.


INQUIRER

PNP bars media from covering New Year’s courtesy call in Camp Crame By: Julliane Love De Jesus - Reporter / @JLDejesusINQ INQUIRER.net / 08:55 AM January 06, 2017


Photo Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa, PNP, New Year's call, camp crame:  PNP spokesperson Senior Supt. Dionardo Carlos sent to the media a photo of PNP chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa while delivering a speech before top police commanders during the traditional New Year’s call. The media were not allowed to cover the annual event for the first time in years.

For the first time in years, the Philippine National Police prevented the media from covering the traditional New Year’s call held annually in Camp Crame.

Every January, top PNP officials, heads of PNP’s directorial units, national support units, regional police directors and their spouses pay courtesy calls on the PNP chief.

Unlike in the previous years, reporters and cameramen were allowed to set up inside the PNP’s multipurpose center an hour before the event.

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The media were also allowed to cover the PNP’s chief speech before top police commanders and to interview officials there.

Officials and their spouses started arriving at the venue at 7 a.m.

PNP spokesperson Senior Supt. Dionardo Carlos did not give any explanation as to why the police were preventing the media from entering the venue.

He, however, provided the media with videos of the arrival ceremony.

After paying a courtesy call on the PNP chief, police commanders will then make a New Year’s call on the Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government, Ismael “Mike” Sueno.

This time, the PNP allowed the media to cover Sueno’s event, which will also be held inside Camp Crame. But reporters and cameramen can only cover the event from outside the multipurpose center. CDG/rga

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RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

In 2017, ‘Bato’ wishes for more time to sleep, rest, exercise By: Julliane Love De Jesus - Reporter / @JLDejesusINQ INQUIRER.net / 06:52 PM December 31, 2016


PNP CHIEF BATO / JULY 8, 2016PNP Chief Police Director General Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa during the news conference after the ceremonial presentation of "Oplan Tokhang" drug surrenderees at Camp Tolentino, Balanga City, Bataan, July 8, 2016.INQUIRER PHOTO / NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

What’s Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa’s New Year resolution?

The busy chief of the 160,000-strong PNP wants to find more time for sleep and rest after supervising the police force in its intensive campaign against illegal drugs.

Since he assumed office in July, Dela Rosa had a packed schedule, visiting different police offices all over the country, attending engagements overseas, and facing marathon congressional hearings on a number of controversies, including the spate of extrajudicial killings and the drug trade inside the national penitentiary.

“New year’s resolution ko, I will see to it that I will have small time for myself. Kasi itong 2016 talaga nakalimutan ko sarili ko, focus na focus ako sa trabaho ko, kulang ako sa tulog, kulang sa pahinga, kulang sa exercise, hanapan ko talaga ng paraan na makatulog ako at kahit papaano makapag-exercise,” Dela Rosa said in a Light Network interview.

(This 2016, I have forgotten myself. I am so focused on my job. I lacked sleep, rest exercise. I will find time to sleep and exercise.)

Controversies hounded the police organization since Dela Rosa became its chief. Dela Rosa and his men have been on the frontline of President Duterte’s brutal war on drugs, which had claimed lives of nearly 6,000 individuals.

Earlier, Dela Rosa apologized to the people for the killings because the drug war would continue.

In his New Year message, Dela Rosa called on the public to cooperate with the police in fighting all kinds of violence, corruption and illegal drugs.

“Umaasa ako na sa darating na mga araw ay mas magiging handa ang bawat isa sa atin upang paigtingin ang init ng pagkakaisa laban sa lahat ng uri ng karahasan,” he said.

(I am hopeful in the coming days we will all be more ready to enhance the united efforts in our fight against all forms of violence.)

“Nawa’y maging gabay natin ang mga nangyari sa nakaraang taon upang mas lalo pang maging matibay ang pagbubuklod-buklod ng kapulisan at mamamayan sa mas pinaigting at patuloy na pagsugpo sa kriminalidad, korupsyon at iligal na droga,” he said.

(Let us hope what happened in the past years will be our guide to strengthen the unity of the police force and civilians for the continuous fight against criminality, corruption and illegal drugs.)

He also promised that the PNP will welcome the year 2017 by “serving the people better.” TVJ


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