Escudero apologizes for EDSA bus lane use, admits ‘abuse of protocol’

Ian Laqui - Philstar.com
Escudero apologizes for EDSA bus lane use, admits �abuse of protocol�
Sorsogon Gov. Chiz Escudero speaks to the public at the Philippine International Convention Center in this photo uploaded on his official Facebook page on Mar. 7, 2020.
Photo from Chiz Escudero via Facebook

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero apologized after his vehicle, equipped with a protocol plate for senators, was caught using the EDSA busway.

In a statement on Friday, Escudero acknowledged that the vehicle, driven by a family member's driver, had misused the protocol plate number "7" by using the EDSA bus lane, which is not permitted.

“I have directed the driver to appear before the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to comply with the show-cause order issued to him and to answer the charges he faces for the violation,” Escudero’s statement read.

"I do not personally use the protocol license plates issued to me, and forthwith the protocol plates involved in the incident will be surrendered to the LTO," he added.

The statement was issued a day after traffic officials flagged a Toyota Land Cruiser with plate number "7" for using the EDSA busway. It was reported that the vehicle sped off.

RELATED: SUV with ‘7’ plate caught in busway; driver escapes

“I apologize to the public and my colleagues in the Senate for this oversight. Moving forward, I commit to ensure that the protocol plates entrusted to me are used appropriately, consistent with the provisions of Executive Order No. 56, s. 2024," Escudero’s statement read.

On Monday, traffic enforcers also apprehended the convoy of former Ilocos Sur Gov. Chavit Singson for using the EDSA busway while riding in his armored truck.  The former governor apologized and said that he would pay the fine amounting to P5,000.

Meanwhile, on Friday, there were two additional separate apprehensions related to the use of the busway.

One incident involved a motorcycle bearing a sticker of the Office of the President, while another involved a vehicle whose owner identified herself as a member of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and claimed to be a niece of a high-ranking military official.

The Department of Transportation and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board previously reminded the public that the EDSA busway is for the exclusive use of authorized buses with special permits.

On-duty ambulances, fire trucks, PNP vehicles, and service vehicles involved in EDSA busway-related tasks, including construction, security, janitorial and maintenance services, are permitted to use the busway.

Some high-ranking government officials, including the president, vice president, Senate president, speaker of the House of Representatives and the chief justice of the Supreme Court are also permitted to utilize the EDSA busway.

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