MINOR Basilica of the Black Nazarene (Quiapo Church) official said Thursday that politicians are allowed to attend the Black Nazarene Feast but should not use the occasion for their political interests.
Monsignor Clemente Ignacio, Quiapo Church rector said that since they expect millions of devotees will attend the celebration, some politicians might take advantage of the situation for personal welfare.
"It is the hope of the Cardinal (Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales) that the Feast of the Black Nazarene will not be used for politics," he said in a press briefing.
Quiapo officials predicted that the attendees on this Saturday's celebration will double the people who joined last year at 3 million.
Ignacio said that they expect elected officials who are known followers of the Nazarene to attend the procession, such as Vice-President Noli De Castro.
Aside from De Castro, Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim will attend the celebration since he is the Hermano Mayor of the activity.
On Friday, the life-sized image of the Black Nazarene will be transferred to the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta, Manila, where the overnight vigil and traditional "Pahalik" will be held.
The occasion will also feature the voters' education program to be conducted by the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting National Chairperson Henrietta de Villa.
The Quiapo official said that the voters' education was included in the program not only because of the upcoming elections but also because it's appropriate to their theme, which is "Tunay na Deboto, Matuwid at Masunuring Katiwala ng Poong Hesus Nazareno".
January 9 is the actual Feast day where the annual procession will be held after the 6:00 a.m. concelebrated Mass of Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales. ( Ferdinand G. Patinio)