Tuesday, January 10, 2012
MANILA, January 10, 2011— Quiapo Church rector Msgr. Clemente Ignacio said there had been a terrorist threat to yesterday’s Black Nazarene procession but nothing stopped them to hold the yearly tradition.
The church official admitted he himself received the threat even before President Benigno Aquino III announced it to the public.
“Even before President Aquino arrived here (at Quiapo Church last Sunday), our security group in contact with the intelligence is already talking about it. There was a text message sent to me with the very concrete names of the bombers,” said Ignacio.
Over the weekend, Aquino issued a warning on a possible terror attack directed at the annual procession in Manila, which drew millions of devotees from various provinces.
This year’s procession of revered Black Nazarene statue took 22 hours from Quirino Grandstand to Quiapo Church— the longest procession ever in the history of the traditional religious event.
Ignacio, though, said they still decided to push through with the procession especially with the dedication shown by the government in securing the people and the occasion.
“All the stakeholders talked about it and we are confident that the authorities are doing their jobs,” said the priest.
Aside from that, he disclosed that it would be very hard to back out from a religious event.
“Even Pope John Paul II, when he was in Latin America… I forgot the country but even with the armed conflict, the Mass continued. You cannot back out from the Holy Mass,” he stressed.
Police estimates indicate that as much as eight to nine million devotees had joined the religious event throughout the day. [CBCPNews]
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