MANILA (UPDATE) – Some devotees are trying to divert the direction of the procession of the Black Nazarene back to its old route.
Radio dzMM's Noel Alamar said the devotees were divided as the procession approached the detour leading to Jones Bridge and MacArthur Bridge.
Alamar said some devotees removed a number of 40-footer container vans supposed to block the way to MacArthur Bridge, which was already filled with devotees waiting for the image.
The new route, however, was eventually followed.
Radio dzMM reporter Ruby Tayag, however, said the carriage or "andas" was already at the foot of Jones Bridge, as of posting.
The container vans toppled by the devotees were also brought back to their original position.
Supt. Raymund Liguden, Manila Police District Station 11's officer-in-charge, said some 110 policemen from the Northern Police District were deployed to Escolta area where the procession was supposed to pass through.
"Nagpadala tayo doon ng 110 police augmentation from Northern Police District para walang magda-divert sa ulo ng procession…Tinitiyak natin na malinis ang Escolta, at walang paparadang sasakyan. Ang mga business establishments, parang sarado po sila," Liguden said.
From Quirino Grandstand, the statue of the Black Nazarene passed through Katigbak Drive, Padre Burgos, straight through Taft Avenue.
From Jones Bridge, the procession should turn right to Escolta, left to Quezon Boulevard, Arlegui, Fraternal, right to Vergara Street, and Duque de Alba Street.
From there, it should pass through Castillejos, Farnecio, Arlegui, Nepomuceno, Aguila, Carcer, then straight to Hidalgo towards Plaza del Carmen, Bilibid Viejo, Puyat, Guzman, Hidalgo, Barbosa, Globo de Oro, Palanca, Lanace, Villalobos, and then back to Plaza Miranda.
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) earlier approved the usage of the bridge in the annual procession but took back permission due to concerns over the bridge's stability.
DPWH Undersecretary Romeo Momo warned that the bridge may not be strong enough to carry the huge crowd that will pass through it.
"Iyung four lanes, kung mao-okupa ng tao lahat iyan, iyan ay nasa 7 to 8 thousand kilograms. That is from one abutment to the other abutment, and from one bank to the other bank. Assuming nasa 50 kilos per person, eh di nasa 40,000 kilos o 40 tons, which is way beyond our design load capacity of 20 tons," Momo told dzMM in an earlier interview.