After drawing flak because of a video she shared on Facebook and Instagram, Binibining Pilipinas Universe 1982 titleholder had reasoned she had to use the toilet so she removed the traffic cones and drove in a lane on EDSA reserved for Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) delegates on Saturday, November 11.
In a statement by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) on Thursday, the reason behind Maria Isabel Lopez’ act of traffic violation had been cleared out, but this does not exempt her of possible penalties.
Posted by Maria Isabel Lopez on Saturday, November 11, 2017
The former beauty queen-turned actress showed up at the office of the Director of LTO’s Law Enforcement Service, Francis Ray Almora, to narrate how the event had transpired. Members of the media were kept from entering the meeting place but Lopez and Almora granted interviews after.
Lopez, with her lawyers, Katherine Panguban and Maria Sol Taule, assured LTO officials that they will file a position paper within the day.
In a statement, Almora said: “Yes po. She mentioned that she need to go to a toilet. May narration siya ng events [She has a narration of the events] but she was required to submit in hard copy.”
The Director said it was not at all an acceptable reason, but mentioned they are still to decide what penalties will be imposed on Lopez as they will still wait for her position paper.
After that, the LTO’s decision will be released within five days upon the receipt of Lopez’s position paper.
The Land Transportation Office requested her presence at the office to give her the chance to explain why her driver’s license should not be suspended nor revoked.
Lopez, according to the LTO, faces violations that include ignoring traffic sign, breaching security protocol for the 31st ASEAN Summit and also violating the Anti-Distracted Driving Act, adding that Lopez was an “improper person to operate a motor vehicle” since she had placed in jeopardy the safety of the public and government property.
It can be recalled that Emmanuel Miro, head of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority’s (MMDA) Task Force ASEAN had earlier said that what Lopez did was dangerous as she could have been mistaken for a terrorist, as per a recent Kicker Daily story.
In the end, Lopez hopes she won’t be “singled out” as other motorists supposedly drove in the ASEAN lanes as well.
To validate this claim, the LTO said it is still reviewing the CCTV footage.