Over 2000 cops to secure Peñafrancia Fest in Naga City
LIGAO CITY — The Bicol police have deployed 2,234 personnel to ensure the orderly and peaceful resumption of the Peñafrancia Festival in Naga City, which begins with the traditional traslacion procession on Friday, September 9.
Major Maria Luisa Calubaquib, Bicol police spokesperson, told the Inquirer in a text message that 832 of this number are from the Naga City police, while 1,402 are from the different provincial police offices of the region.
Among these offices are the Regional Headquarters Unit; Regional Mobile Force Battalion 5; Regional Special Training Unit; Regional Training Center; Regional Medical and Dental Unit 5; Explosive Ordnance Disposal; Aviation Security Group; Regional Maritime Unit, Regional Intelligence Unit; Highway Patrol Group; and Regional Communications and Electronic Unit.
She said police presence in the area through checkpoints, mobile patrols, visitations and inspections of vital installations would ensure the safety of pilgrims and devotees who would participate in the religious feast.
A command post at the Naga City police office in Barlin St., Barangay Sta. Cruz will serve as a hub to monitor and collect situation reports and discuss response efforts in case of incidents, Calubaquib said.
Gun ban restriction is also in effect in the city, which started on September 5 and will last on September 25.
“Our preparations are still ongoing. We are looking keenly at every detail to assure our devotees that their right to enjoy their religious beliefs is safeguarded. We also urge the public for their participation and cooperation in making this event a success,” Police Brigadier General Rudolph Dimas said in a statement.
The crowd-drawing events of Peñafrancia Fiesta – the traslacion and fluvial processions – were cancelled in the past two years due to the pandemic.
The traslacion on Friday signals the beginning of the weeklong religious festivities, and is known as one of the biggest Marian processions, attracting millions of devotees from all over the world to participate in transferring the images of the Lady of Peñafrancia and the Divino Rostro (Holy Face) from the Peñafrancia Shrine to the Metropolitan Naga Cathedral.
The festivities end with the fluvial procession on September 17 on Naga river, where the images are transported back by devotees on a pagoda accompanied by small boats to the Peñafrancia Basilica Minore.
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