Briones: Maria went to town | SunStar

Briones: Maria went to town

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Briones: Maria went to town

Monday, November 13, 2017

HERE’S an update on the Maria Isabel Lopez case.

In his Facebook post, Tim Orbos, general manager of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), said that a summon has already been issued by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to Lopez yesterday for committing the following violations: disregarding traffic signs, violating the Anti-Distracted Driving Act and reckless driving.

LTO Chief Edgar Galvante said that proper investigation procedures will be observed, and that LTO shall ensure that its decision will be anchored on the truth, and adherence to the rule of law.

The MMDA is also preparing to file other charges against Lopez, considering that the actress and former Binibining Pilipinas 1982 flaunted her disregard for traffic rules that are temporarily in place while the capital is hosting the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) summit.

Okay, maybe I shouldn’t be so quick to judge since I don’t even know her personally. But what she did was wrong.

Yet, despite the flak she has received for the incident, there are some who actually defended her actions.

They said that Lopez was merely acting “out of desperation from the horrible traffic.” That was why she removed the traffic barriers on Edsa that marked exclusive lanes reserved for Asean delegates.

But for Lopez, it wasn’t despair that drove her to reckless action but the feeling that she was becoming a second-class citizen in her own country. That, she told Philippine Star, was the reason she violated the traffic laws.

“… Then all other motorists behind me followed! MMDA thinks I’m an official Asean delegate! If you can’t beat them, join them!” she wrote on her social media account.

Lopez continued to be tongue-in-cheek until criticisms from netizens started flooding in. Maybe it finally sank in that she had committed a booboo, which would explain her belated apology.

“I’m just human,” she said.

Well, guess what? So were the hundreds of thousands of other motorists who shared her predicament that Saturday night.

No doubt the traffic had driven the majority of them to desperation. Some may have even thought that they had become second-class citizens in their own country. But they stayed inside their vehicles. Mind you, they were probably hurling expletives while they were at it, but they didn’t get out to remove the cones to use the Asean-exclusive lane.

Only Lopez did that. And then posted the whole thing online.

So the question is, does she deserve to lose her license over the incident?

For her chutzpah, I say no. For her stupidity, definitely.

Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on November 14, 2017.

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