Security measures set for Black Nazarene procession in CDO

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/08 January) — The jamming of all mobile phone signals in the entire city starting 4 a.m. Monday and other security measures have been set for the “Translacion” or procession of the Black Nazarene here.

City Councilor Romeo Calizo, chair of the committee on police, fire and public safety said the National Telecommunications Commission has directed Smart and Globe companies to jam their cell phone signals in response to “credible information” that terror groups plan to explode bombs along the route of the Translacion.

Calizo said regional law enforcement and intelligence agencies relayed the information during their meeting last week to the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO).

“Whether the information was true or not, we want to be on the safe side. We do not want something to happen here,” Calizo told reporters during a briefing here Sunday morning.

He said the flying of drones along the procession route from Velez Street all the way to Agora Market and the Nazareno parish church in Barangay Lapasan is also prohibited.

The official said wearing of hats and sunglasses is also prohibited.

Calizo said all vehicles found parking along the procession route will be towed for safekeeping.

He said the biggest threat for Cagayan de Oro is the Maute group, which engaged government forces in Butig, Lanao del Sur late last year.

The Mindanao version of the Translacion started in Cagayan de Oro in 2009 when a Philippine Air Force C-130 plane arrived bringing a replica of Quiapo’s “Callejeron”.

“Its (Black Nazarene) devotees are increasing every year since 2009. We are expecting more than 250,000 to participate in the procession on Monday,” CDRRMO chief Mario Verner Monsanto said.

Aside from Cagayan de Oro and Quiapo, devotees are also holding a procession for the Black Nazarebe for the first time in Tagum City. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)