Jail officer dies as Traslacion winds down

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Devotee succeeds to make his way atop the carroza to kiss the cross of the Black Nazarene. Photographed by Bernard Testa, InterAksyon

MANILA, Philippines — A jail officer died early Wednesday morning, January 10, as he waited to worship the Black Nazarene as this year’s Traslacion, the procession to return the religious icon to the Quiapo Church, was winding down.

Friends who were with Senior Jail Officer 4 Ramil dela Cruz, who was assigned to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology in the National Capital Region, said they were on Hidlago Street when he complained of a tightness in his chest and abdominal pain.

Dela Cruz was rushed to a first aid station and, eventually, to a hospital where he was, however, declared dead on arrival.

The jail officer’s companions claimed he could have been saved had medical personnel decided to rush him straight to a hospital instead of taking a half hour before doing so.

Dela Cruz’s wife and mother said he had been a devotee of the Black Nazarene for the past 30 years in the hope this would keep his family safe from harm.

The jail officer was a father of two.

This year’s Traslacion took 22 hours, from 5 a.m. Tuesday to around 3 a.m. Wednesday.