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Vendors, guns barred for Nazarene procession

Several prohibitions will be implemented in Manila as the Traslacion or Black Nazarene procession approaches, the Manila Police District reminded the public yesterday.

A list released by MPD director Senior Supt. Vicente Danao Jr. said the zero vendor policy will take effect in all processional routes at 12:01 a.m. Monday.

Atty. Ericson Alcovendaz, city administrator, had earlier said that those who will defy the order will be arrested.

Moreover, firearms, deadly weapons, firecracker, backpacks, colored canisters, and water jugs will be banned effective 5 a.m. Tuesday, which marks the start of the “pahalik” or the traditional touching of the Black Nazarene at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila on the eve of Traslacion.

A liquor ban will begin 8 a.m. the same day.

Danao said buying, selling, and drinking of alcoholic beverages will not be allowed until the culmination of the annual religious event.

Meanwhile, National Capital Regional Police Office chief Director Guillermo Eleazar conducted an aerial and ground inspection of theTraslacion routes yesterday.

Eleazar first checked the Quirino Granstand after he alighted from a helicopter. He boarded his service vehicle and proceeded to the succeeding areas in the Black Nazarene procession.

He said that adjustments have to be made in Segments 6 to 10 or from Palanca St. up to the Quiapo Church.

“We saw from the top that they are almost close to each other and devotees can only move around to a small area. You could just imagine that the tail of the procession is not yet through then its mouth will already start to cross. This is for security purposes as it will be hard to control the people on the day itself,” he said.

Eleazar said they target to finish all of the preparations this weekend in line with to enable them to focus on the replica procession up to the main event on Jan. 9 by tomorrow.

Meanwhile, all types of vehicles are not allowed to pass several roads leading to the Quiapo Church tomorrow to give way to the Traslación.

The Manila Police District Traffic Enforcement Unit has released list of road closures as well as rerouting of vehicles in preparation for the Traslacion.

The traffic advisory showed that “closures of some streets will be in effect as the procession approaches and will be opened immediately once the tail end of the procession passes.”

Tomorrow, from 11 a.m. onwards, the southbound lane of Quezon Blvd. in Quiapo from A. Mendoza and Fugoso to Plaza Miranda will be closed as well as the westbound lane of España Blvd. from P. Campa to Lerma St.

Vehicles will also be rerouted on that day: Those coming from España Blvd. intending to proceed to Roxas Blvd., South Pier Zone, and Taft Ave. shall turn right to P. Campa, straight to Fugoso St., to point of destination.

All vehicles intending to utilize Quezon Blvd. coming from A. Mendoza St. shall turn right to Fugoso, left to Rizal Ave., to point of destination.

On Tuesday, roads closed from 10 p.m. onwards are:

– Katigbak Drive and South Drive (one lane accessible to Manila and H2O Hotel).

– Northbound lane of Quezon and McArthur Bridge from Bonifacio Shrine onwards.

– Taft Ave. from Ayala Blvd. to Bonifacio Shrine.

Vehicles that will be rerouted are:

– Light vehicles intending to utilize the stretch of Bonifacio Drive and Roxas Blvd. southbound shall turn around to Anda Circle going to A. Soriano Ave., turn right to Gen. Luna St. to Burgos-Orosa St., then turn left to TM Kalaw St. to Taft Ave. to point of destination. (Ria Fernandez and Erma Edera)