Devotees form barricade to stop re-route of Nazarene march
MANILA, Philippines—The Black Nazarene float was stalled for at least another hour on Carlos Palanca St. in Quiapo district, as tension rose between police and devotees on whether the procession should take a shortcut or not.
The police had submitted to the Quiapo church’s appeal for the procession to take a shortcut through Villalobos St., which would lead straight to the Quiapo church.
Devotees, however, refused the attempted rerouting, even going so far as forming a human barricade to prevent the procession from turning at Villalobos and shaking a van the police was using to publicly announce the shortcut.
Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo said they were not the ones to decide where the procession will go. “Ang mga deboto at parokya, sila ang magkakasundo.”
He however denied that police have abandoned the procession and said that their security measures have so far been effective.
As of 11 p.m., the procession that had been on Carlos Palanca St since 9:30 p.m. started to advance, though slowly, from the corner of Villalobos. Cheers rang out from the crowd as the float’s ropes were pulled forward, indicating the old route would be followed.
Villalobos is two blocks away from Globo de Oro, the next street in the usual route. Should the procession follow the traditional route, it will have to snake through at least 13 more Quiapo streets.
As of 11 p.m., the Philippine Red Cross reported treating 424 devotees, with 213 treated for minor injuries, 189 having their blood pressures taken and 19 brought to the Ospital ng Maynila, Philippine General Hospital and the University of Santo Tomas.
PRC has deployed 358 officers in the area to provide immediate medical attention to devotees who might fall ill or become injured in the course of the procession.