MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will deploy more than 1,000 soldiers to help secure devotees joining the procession for the Feast of the Black Nazarene on Tuesday, January 9.
The AFP’s Joint Task Force National Capital Region (JTF NCR) will tap its Joint Task Group (JTG) Nazareno to help the police force keep the procession safe from harm, the military announced on Saturday, January 6.
Members of the JTG Nazareno include officers from the Army, Air Force, Navy, AFP North Luzon Command, AFP Southern Luzon Command, and the AFP Reserve Command.
The troops will be deployedtot several stations from the Qurino Grandstand to St John Baptish Church in Quiapo, Manila, starting Monday, January 8. (READ: Nazareno 2018: Devotees reminded to keep Rizal Park clean)
“As the metro sentinel of the national seat of government, the JTF NCR, AFP will actively support the Philippine National Police in ensuring a safe and peaceful celebration of the Feast of the Black Nazarene Translacion 2018,” Brigadier General Alan Arrojado said in a statement on Saturday.
“At the same time, our forces will remain alert in thwarting threat groups that may take advantage of the celebration,” he added.
The soldiers will join 5,613 cops who will be deployed on Tuesday to secure the almost 6-kilometer procession from the Quirino Grandstand to the Quiapo Church.
The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) will also deploy drones and snipers to further secure the procession.
NCRPO chief Director Oscar Albayalde earlier said that while the police had not received information of possible terror attacks and other threats during Traslacion 2018, "our intelligence operatives are continuously monitoring threat groups even outside Metro Manila."