Erap wants better Nazarene procession

Posted at 01/10/14 7:41 PM

MANILA - Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada on Friday said he is looking at ways to make the annual Black Nazarene procession more organized.

Estrada issued the statement in response to questions from media regarding his plan to promote the event into an international pilgrimage.

He was asked about unruly actions done by some devotees, such as going up the Quirino Grandstand and getting the Black Nazarene image even before the mass ended.

Estrada said the emotions of devotees can't be controlled sometimes and he is studying methods on how to make the event more organized.

The former President said it is just his first year as Manila mayor and he believes that there's room for improvement.

Metro Manila police, meanwhile, said this year's Black Nazarene procession was generally peaceful, despite more than 1,600 devotees getting hurt, as well as incidents of theft.

National Capital Region Police Office Director Carmelo Malmoria said that apart from a failed attempt by some devotees to divert the route to the MacArthur Bridge instead of the Jones Bridge, there were no other significant incidents that marred the procession.

He said they will deploy more policemen to the event next year because the number of devotees increases every year.

"It could have been a nightmare," he said "It's the first time we were able to prevent them from using the traditional route." - with reports from Zyann Ambrosio, ABS-CBN News; ANC