LTO revokes Maria Isabel Lopez’s license over ASEAN lane breach

MANILA — The Land Transportation Office (LTO) has revoked the driver’s license of actress Maria Isabel Lopez after she passed through the lanes exclusively designated for delegates of the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to evade heavy traffic along Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) earlier this month.

Lopez is also prohibited from applying and reacquiring license for the next two years and was imposed a fine of PHP5,000 for violation of the Anti-Distracted Driving Act, PHP2,000 for reckless driving and PHP1,000 for disregarding traffic signs for a total amount of PHP8,000.

“Ms. Lopez needs to undergo the regular process just like any new applicants and need to show that she is safe to drive a vehicle if ever she decides to acquire a new license,” LTO Law Enforcement Service Director Francis Almora said, citing a Radyo Pilipinas report.

The former beauty queen, whose real name is Maria Isabel Lopez Yokohama, is expected to surrender her license which will expire on September 2018 within 24 hours upon receipt of the resolution to the office of the LTO Director for Law Enforcement.

In its resolution dated November 23, the LTO said that “respondent Yokohama expressly admitted her failure to meet the conditions concomitant with the grant of her license”.

“Worse, she showed no remorse and even publicized with gusto her improper and illegal acts on social media, which betray her utter lack of responsibility as a licensed driver, thus making her an improper person to operate a motor vehicle,” according to LTO chief Edgar Galvante.

Galvante reiterated that a person with a driver’s license should give consideration to other motorists and pedestrians and avoid committing acts which endanger lives, properties and public safety.

In her defense, Lopez stated that an MMDA traffic enforcer did not grant her permission to allow her to pass through the ASEAN Lanes. She requested the traffic enforcer again that she be allowed to use the ASEAN Lane but the personnel left her in the middle of conversation.

“The defenses she proffered are considered lame and merely self-serving,” the resolution read.

Last November 11, Lopez uploaded her photo and two videos claiming that she managed to drive along the ASEAN Lane after removing the cones which were denounced by the DOTr and the ASEAN Committee on Security, Peace and Order and Emergency Preparedness and Response warning the public not to emulate her actions and behavior.  Aerol John Pateña/