Lent in the time of COVID-19: 7 ‘Kristos,’ 3 flagellants nabbed in Pampanga
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO –– Police on Thursday arrested seven penitents playing the part of Jesus Christ in the reenactment of the Via Crucis (The Way of the Cross) in Angeles City amid the local prohibition of Lenten events due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Earlier on Wednesday, police also arrested three mandarame (flagellants) in this city.
Merwin Cardenonza , 19, and six minors were apprehended at past 7 a.m. along McArthur Highway in Barangay Virgen de Los Remedios, Angeles City.
They would be charged with simple disobedience and violation of the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act of 2019.
Their leader, Richard Tolentino, 19, eluded arrest on a tricycle. All eight are residents of Barangay Balibago in the city.
According to the minors, Tolentino urged them to do the yearly tradition and promised he would be responsible for them.
They were bound for a makeshift Calvary in Purok Cuatro in Barangay San Pedro Cutud here.
At past 1 p.m., the minors remained in the custody of the police, who waited for social welfare workers.
In Cutud, the three male flagellants were apprehended as they tried to enter Cutud on Wednesday afternoon, according to barangay captain Remegio de la Cruz.
All three men wore their traditional kaparosa (black hood over the whole head with a ring of Guava leaves) to hide their identities. Their burillos (25 bamboo sticks tied to a rope) were bloodied from the non-stop beating of their backs since 5 a.m.The skin on their backs was either slit by a metal blade or glass shards.
On an ordinary Good Friday, more than 5,000 flagellants come to end their penitence in Cutud.
Two cops at the main entrance of the village immediately arrested them and brought them to the police, and charged them for disobedience.
De La Cruz said he needed to be ready on Good Friday because a penitent named Roland Ocampo would proceed with his real-life crucifixion at 3 p.m. on Good Friday.
“He said no one and nothing can stop him. So I’m ready to deal with him,” said De la Cruz, who has a stocky figure.
Edited by LZB
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