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Manila | The Catholic Bishop Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), and several rights groups represented by Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) Renato Reyes Jr., condemns the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) for its plan to suspend Maria Isabel Lopez’s driver’s license.
Director Oscar Albayalde, chief of the National Capital Region Police Office, said on Sunday that he would support the recommendation of MMDA to suspend or cancel the driver’s licence of actress after she used the reserved lane for the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit.
“We strongly support the recommendation for the suspension or revocation of Ms. Ma. Isabel Lopez driver’s license for violation of traffic rules and also of breech for security,” Albayalde, who is also the commander of the Asean route security, said in a statement on Sunday.
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“A person of her stature should be an example to the Filipino community, but she did just the contrary,” he added.
Albayalde said the incident should also serve as a “stern warning and reminder to the public that all agencies are communicating and are all working hard to provide security and order for the Asean summit.”
“Any violations on the protocols and rules set forth by the ASEAN Task Forces shall not be tolerated,” he said.
In a Facebook post of Lopez on Saturday, she said she removed divider cones and drove through the ASEAN lane, which other motorists behind her followed.
During a mass on Sunday, CBCP President Socrates Villegas criticized the plan to penalize Lopez and calling it too much.
The Archbishop pointed out that Filipino citizens like Lopez should be the priority, and not the foreign leaders.
His words were further echoed by Renato Reyes Jr. during a street protest on Sunday.
Reyes said Lopez was right in using the ASEAN lane because she is a taxpayer and a Filipino citizen.
“Ginawa yang daan para sa mga Pilipino at hindi para sa mga dayuhan. Walang dahilan para alisan ng karapatang magmaneho si Ginang Isabel Lopez. Ito ay isang malaking paglabag sa kanyang karapatan bilang tao at bilang mamamayang Pilipino”, Reyes said. /Joy Valle/