Authorities are looking into the motorcade that brought out the image of the Black Nazarene in Manila on Monday, September 14, for possible violations of quarantine protocols.
The venerated image of the Black Nazarene was brought out of Manila’s Quiapo church on Monday to mark the Feast of the Holy Cross.
The three-hour activity provided thousands of devotees a glimpse of the life-size image of what is believed to be a miraculous image of a dark-skinned, kneeling Jesus Christ.
Police Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar, head of the Joint Task Force COVID Shield, however, said they will look into alleged violations of social distancing protocols during the activity.
“Accordingly, the church administration informed authorities about the event, but it was discouraged because it was not yet allowed,” said the police general.
“While it is true that the intention was good … the problem is if we bring out the image people would follow,” said Eleazar.
The police general said the event already happened, “we might not be able to arrest anyone … but depending on the result of our investigation, we can file charges against those responsible.”
Church officials said they will cooperate with the investigation.
“We have consulted our councils and sought permission from our superiors,” said Monsignor Hernando Coronel, rector of the church in Manila’s Quiapo district.
“We are open if they want to investigate us. We are prepared to answer. We are prepared to own up to our responsibilities, if there were indeed violations of quarantine protocols,” said the priest.
Father Douglas Badong, parochial vicar of the district, said he is ready to face the investigation, adding that he sought permission from the bishop and the local government unit for the activity.
“We even asked help from the police for them to assist us,” he said.
The priest said the devotees who joined the activit observed health protocols, including the wearing of face masks and face shields.