Traffic > Legal

Maria Isabel Lopez gets her comeuppance

LTO hands her penalties for ASEAN Summit violation

Maria Isabel Lopez screamed her way through the ASEAN lane. SCREENSHOT FROM MARIA ISABEL LOPEZ

In case you were wondering whatever happened to the case of Maria Isabel Lopez after her very viral violation of the special lane provided for participants of the 31st ASEAN Summit two weeks ago, the Land Transportation Office has just revoked her driver’s license and ordered her to pay a fine of P8,000. Here’s the complete statement from the Department of Transportation:

The Department of Transportation-Land Transportation Office has revoked the driver’s license of former beauty queen and actress Maria Isabel Lopez for removing orange cones and plying the ASEAN Lane along EDSA last November 11.

In a resolution dated November 23, 2017, Assistant Secretary and LTO Chief Edgar Galvante also ordered Lopez, whose real name is Maria Isabel Lopez Yokohama, to pay a total of P8,000 as fine for disregarding traffic signs, reckless driving and violating the Anti-Distracted Driving Act.

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.

The resolution reads that “respondent Yokohama expressly admitted her failure to meet the conditions concomitant with the grant of her license. The defenses she proffered are considered lame and merely self-serving. Worse, she showed no remorse and even publicized with gusto her improper and illegal acts on social media, which betrayed her utter lack of responsibility as a licensed driver, thus making her an improper person to operate a motor vehicle.”

The LTO resolution also noted that “a person with a driver’s license is likewise expected to give due consideration to other motorists and pedestrians, and avoid committing acts that endanger lives, properties and public safety.”

In her defense, Yokohama alleged that she had asked permission from an MMDA traffic enforcer to allow her to pass through the ASEAN lane but was denied. She requested the traffic enforcer again that she be allowed to use the ASEAN lane, but the MMDA enforcer left in the middle of their conversation.

On November 11, 2017, Yokohama uploaded her photo and two videos, claiming that she had managed to drive along the lane designated exclusively for ASEAN Summit delegates after removing the cones herself.

Yokohama’s actions were denounced by the DOTr leadership and the ASEAN Committee on Security, Peace and Order and Emergency Preparedness and Response, warning the general public not to emulate her actions and behavior.

Yokohama also drew a lot of flak from hundreds of netizens after the incident.

You mock the law, the law will have the last laugh. PHOTO FROM DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Are you satisfied with the penalties meted out to the offending motorist? Do you think they’re too harsh, too light or just right?