For what is believed to be the first time in history, police escorts accompanied the Traslacion, procession of the Black Nazarene. But while the devotees complained about the police presence in the religious event, cops slam the devotees for damaging their vehicle and equipment!
“Ibang-iba ang Traslacion ngayon ng Nazareno hindi katulad dati. Ngayon parang Traslacion ng mga pulis,” one devotee complained.
Others claimed that the police prevented them from getting closer to the statue of the Black Nazarene, something that devotees aim to do each year. Some even claim that the cops are using pepper spray to keep them away.
There were also those who complained that the policemen’s combat boots hurt their feet, particularly because most of the devotees were barefoot throughout the event. They suggested that police should also not wear shoes, so they won’t hurt devotees they accidentally step on.
But the police blast the devotees for being unruly and for damaging their equipment, including their vehicle. A pickup truck clearly marked with “PULISYA” was badly damaged. Devotees climbed on the vehicle to jump on the windshield and hood. A photo shared by Gideon Tangan Ines Jr. of the Makati City Police Station shows the windshield was broken.
The pickup truck’s hood, sides, and back also had big dents because the devotees kicked the vehicle. The lights were also broken. Ines added that the devotees also damaged their LRAD (long-range acoustic device).
“Mga amoy alak, lumalaki ang mga mata yan ba ang mga deboto? Sinira at inapak-apakan pa ang LRAD at lead vehicle ng andas,” Ines angrily posted, sharing photos of the damaged vehicle and the jampacked procession.
The photos angered netizens who said that the devotees (deboto) are actually debote. Others also said that if the devotees disagreed with the police presence, this still does not give them the right to damage the police vehicle!