MANILA – The Department of Transportation-Land Transportation Office (DOTr-LTO) has revoked the driver’s license of former beauty queen and actress Ma. Isabel Lopez for removing orange cones and plying the ASEAN Lane along EDSA last November 11.
In a resolution dated Nov. 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 fine for disregarding traffic signs, reckless driving, and violation of 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 read 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.”
The resolution added: “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.”
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 which endanger lives, properties and public safety.
“In her defense, Yokohama alleged that she asked permission from an MMDA traffic enforcer to allow her to pass through the ASEAN Lanes but was denied. She requested again the traffic enforcer that she be allowed to use the ASEAN lane but the MMDA personnel left in the middle of their conversation.
“Last November 11, 2017, Yokohama uploaded her photo and two videos, claiming that she managed to drive along the lane designated exclusively for ASEAN Summit delegates after removing the cones.”
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 netizens after the incident.