WEDNESDAY’S Traslacion in Manila was generally peaceful with a mammoth four million Black Nazarene devotees joining the procession from the Quirino Grandstand to the Quiapo Church which lasted for 21 hours and seven minutes, Philippine National Police chief, Director General Oscar D. Albayalde said yesterday.
National Capital Region Police Office chief, Director Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar also said that only one pickpocketing incident was recorded during the 6.1 kilometer procession route and alert policemen immediately arrested and charged the suspect.
“The devotees owned this activity or program. Naging maayos dahil sa lahat ng concerned agencies ay ginawa ang kanilang mga assignment,” the Metro Manila police director said as he and Gen. Albayalde finally heaved a sigh of relief when the procession and ensuing final Mass was over.
Credit was also given to the Manila Police District headed by Senior Superintendent Vicente D. Danao Jr. for keeping the event as peaceful as possible.
Eleazar said that no casualty was recorded during the Traslacion although 714 devotees were given medical assistance after suffering from dizziness or fainting. Others have lacerations and fractures.
The official placed the crowd number at around 1.5 million from December 31, 2018 to last Tuesday and another 2.5 million from Wednesday to yesterday.
“Based on our assessment, it’s better now than before, with the result of the peace and order situation and with the number of injuries and casualties. Naging mas maayos ngayon kesa last time but gusto pa natin na mas pagandahin pa for Traslacion 2020,” Eleazar said.
The NCRPO chief said they will also create a Technical Working Group to conduct a scientific assessment and evaluation of the crowd and have an on-time evaluation. “We will consider that next year so that we will have a more scientific assessment, evaluation and computation of the crowd estimate,” he said.
Around 7,200 police officers were deployed to ensure the safety of the devotees, Eleazar said. “Andito ang kapulisan na for more than one day na walang palitan ng uniporme, walang tulugan, walang pahinga. I would like to commend ang ating kapulisan,” he said.