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Don’t ‘be like Maria’: ASEAN security group says Maria Isabel Lopez’s behavior not to be tolerated

The ASEAN Committee on Security, Peace and Order, and Emergency Preparedness and Response (CSPOEPR) on Sunday slammed actress Maria Isabel Lopez for driving on the ASEAN lane on EDSA over the weekend.

In a press release, CSPOEPR Chairperson and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) officer-in-charge Catalino Cuy said Lopez's action should "neither be condoned nor tolerated" as it can halt and derail traffic management and may put at risk both the delegates of the ASEAN Summit and even the traffic violators themselves.

“As a public figure, Ms. Lopez must be mindful of the impact of her actions. We tirelessly remind the people that traffic rules are created to save lives and put an order in the management of traffic flow, especially now that we are hosting the ASEAN Summit," Cuy said.

"We will not allow someone like her to simply put our plans to naught,” Cuy added.

The CSPOEPR also called on the public not to commit the same action done by Lopez or else charges will be filed against them.

Lopez, on her Instagram and Facebook accounts, posted about moving the divider cones and driving on the lane designated for ASEAN delegates.

“MMDA thinks I’m an official ASEAN delegate. If you can’t beat em, join them,” reads a portion of Lopez's caption, which she hashtagged #nosticker, #leadership, #belikemaria, #pasaway, and #selfpreservation.


ASEAN Technical Working Group on Traffic Management Chairperson Emmanuel Miro, meanwhile, said Lopez's action will be dealt with accordingly by authorities.

According to Miro, the incident will be investigated and if warranted, appropriate charges including a possibility of a traffic violation for disregarding traffic signs will be filed against Lopez, noting that her own social media post has indicated an admission of violating the traffic rules.

“The law must be applied to everyone, whether you are an ordinary Filipino or a public figure like Ms. Lopez,” Miro said.

Ambulances and other emergency vehicles, however, are allowed on the ASEAN lanes.

In another post on her Facebook page, Lopez apologized for her actions.

"Don't miss 24 Oras at 6:30PM tonight so you will see the whole picture on when, how and why I did it. Sorry to those who got hurt and affected," she said. — Anna Felicia Bajo/BM, GMA News