Actress pays price for ASEAN lane violation   » Manila Bulletin News



By Anna Liza Villas-Alavaren and Alexandria Dennise San Juan 

Actress and 1982 Binibining Pilipinas –Universe Maria Isabel Lopez, who blatantly breached Association of southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Meeting security protocols along EDSA last week has been charged, sanctioned and may have her driver’s license permanently revoked.

Lopez was fined and charged by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and Land Transportation Office (LTO) for driving on the segregated special lane for ASEAN delegates to skirt traffic congestion along EDSA last week.

Maria Isabel Lopez (Instagram)

The MMDA charged Lopez with disregarding traffic signs, violating Republic Act No. 10913, or the Anti-Distracted Driving Act (ADDA) and reckless driving.

Lopez was also fined P5,000 for using a mobile and other electronic devices while driving.

The LTO-National Capital Region issued on Monday a show cause order to Lopez over the security breach.

On the fast (ASEAN) lane

Lopez gleefully posted on her social media account a video of her entering the ASEAN lane along EDSA, where traffic was at a virtual standstill.

She even boasted that MMDA perosnnel thought she was an ASEAN delegate.

Several other motorists later tailed her vehicle.

‘Revoke her license’

The MMDA likewise asked the LTO to permanently revoke Lopez’s driver’s license and bar her from applying for a new one.

The appeal was supported by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Philippine National Police – National Capital Region Police Office.


“Lopez’s shameless conduct and unlawful act of breaching the security protocol during an international event in our country makes her an ‘improper person to operate a motor vehicle’ which would endanger the public,” the MMDA complaint signed by lawyer Victor Pablo Trinidad stated.

LTO Chief Edgar Galvante said that they will be conducting a proper investigation on the incident and will decide accordingly based on the evidence on hand.

Galvante also assured that the decision of his office “will be anchored on the truth, and adherence to the rule of law.”

Dangerous instinct

After drawing outrage from netizens, Lopez issued an apology.

In a television interview, however, she explained that what she did was out of ‘human nature to survive.’

Manny Miro, head of MMDA’s Task Force Asean said that Lopez’s action compromised the safety of the ASEAN delegates.

“We have security protocols that cannot be breached. What if there was a head of state passing the lanes?  What if she was mistaken to be a terrorist?” said Miro.



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