Actress summoned for ASEAN lane traffic violation

MANILA — Actress and Binibining Pilipinas Universe 1982 Maria Isabel Lopez was summoned by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) as she faces cancellation of her driver’s license for driving through the lane exclusively used by delegates of the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit.

Lopez committed the following violations: disregarding traffic signs, violation of the Anti-Distracted Driving Act and reckless driving, the LTO said.

“LTO Chief Edgar Galvante says that proper investigation procedures will be observed, and that LTO shall ensure that their decision will be anchored on the truth, and adherence to the rule of law,” the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said in a statement Monday.

The DOTr supported the recommendation of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) for the suspension or cancellation of Lopez’s driver’s license.

“The DOTr leadership, under Secretary Arthur Tugade, fervently believes that no one is above the law, and that all violators should be held accountable for their actions,” it said.

“Government agencies concerned in traffic and transportation are one in implementing and enforcing rules and regulations concerning the use of roads and major thoroughfares, especially with the country hosting an international event, such as the ASEAN. Ms. Lopez’s actions, which she even posted on social media, does not only show a blatant disregard of traffic rules and regulations, but also puts at risk the Summit delegates and other persons who might replicate her actions,” it added.

In her Facebook account, Lopez bragged that she removed plastic barriers and entered the ASEAN lane on EDSA.

The former beauty queen appeared to have been proud of her pretending to be a participant of the ASEAN Summit while driving with hazards “on.”

Lopez had already apologized for the incident Sunday.  Aerol John Pateña/