Marcos rode a mini-bus bearing the protocol plates to attend the hearing on her conviction at the Sandiganbayan yesterday.
Michael Varcas
Imelda Marcos' vehicle still has ‘8’ plate
Elizabeth Marcelo (The Philippine Star) - November 17, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Former first lady and incumbent Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos still uses the “8” protocol license plate.

Marcos rode a mini-bus bearing the protocol plates to attend the hearing on her conviction at the Sandiganbayan yesterday.

Marcos was in a white Toyota Coaster with the protocol plates issued in 2013, or during the 16th Congress.

A few hours later, Mrs. Marcos boarded the same vehicle after attending court proceedings.

Marcos was convicted by the Sandiganbayan’s Fifth Division on seven counts of graft in connection with the funneling of funds to private foundations in Switzerland that she and her husband, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos created during the martial law regime.

Mrs. Marcos yesterday attended the hearing of her motion seeking the court’s permission to challenge her conviction through a motion for reconsideration.

The Fifth Division had allowed Mrs. Marcos to post P150,000 bail bond for her provisional liberty while her motion remains pending. The House of Representatives issued a memorandum in 2016 ordering the recall of all protocol plates previously released to lawmakers.

Former speaker Pantaleon Alvarez ordered the recall of all protocol plates in the wake of reports of abuse by their users.

Alvarez cited reports that certain vehicles sporting such plates have been spotted in indecent places or figured in crime-related activities.

On Wednesday, Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. reminded House members to turn over their protocol plates issued during the 16 th Congress in accordance with the memorandum.

Andaya made the reminder during the plenary session after a Toyota FJ Cruiser bearing plate No. 8 figured in a road rage incident in Angeles City, Pampanga.

“The last production and issuance of protocol plate for members of the House of Representatives is during the 16th Congress 2013 to 2016. Considering that there were no plates issued for the present Congress, the plates issued to previous Congress should no longer be used,” Land Transportation Office (LTO) law enforcement director Francis Almora said in a statement.

The Philippine National Police – Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) said it recovered the vehicle in Novaliches, Quezon City early yesterday.

Police said Toyota FJ Cruiser (AVA-8781) was registered to Jojo Serafico Valerio, the suspect in the road rage incident who was caught on video punching a motorist along MacArthur Highway in Angeles City, Pampanga.

The vehicle was recovered after it was initially flagged down for traffic violations including improper attachment of plate locks and failure to wear seatbelt.

Authorities noticed the official receipt/certificate of registration presented by the driver, Valerio’s partner Cresia Lyn Arcenas, did not match the vehicle’s color.

Police later found the vehicle was registered to Valerio and was the same car in the viral video but now had a different plate number. 

PNP-HPG spokesman Supt. Ritchie Claraval said they are looking into the possibility that the vehicle was altered to evade investigation by authorities. 

The white bumper was modified with black stickers and a snorkel attachment was added. 

The vehicle was impounded by the PNP-HPG while Arcenas faces charges for different traffic violations. – Romina Cabrera

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