MANILA, Philippines — Roughly 160,000 barefoot devotees have turned up at the Rizal Park for the feast of the Black Nazarene Wednesday morning, police said.
Chief Superintendent Leonardo Espina, chief of the National Capital Region Police Office, relayed the crowd estimate from the Manila Police District and said that no injuries have so far been reported.
Chief Superintendent Alex Gutierrez, MPD chief, said their officers have fanned out the Rizal Park grounds to ensure a peaceful procession later.
Police officers made inspections in packs, circling many devotees, some of whom spent the night at the park for a chance to take part in the traslacion (transfer) of the life-sized sculpture of Jesus Christ believed to be miraculous by many Catholics.
Entrance to the Quirino Grandstand which has been barricaded for security purposes was meanwhile tight, with marshals turning away media practitioners without accreditation.