MMDA to probe how Revilla’s name got dragged into bus lane violation mess
MANILA, Philippines — The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Wednesday said it will be conducting an investigation into the incident where Senator Bong Revilla Jr.’s car was allegedly apprehended for using the Edsa bus carousel lane and then allowed to pass through.
In a statement sent to reporters on the same day, the MMDA mentioned that the license plate of the flagged vehicle bears a “protocol plate,” also called a low-numbered plate.
“Based on our CCTV footage, the license plate of the flagged down vehicle is protocol plate, and we are probing why the name of the senator was being involved,” the MMDA said.
The Land Transportation Office is only issuing protocol plates to high-ranking government officials.
“We would like to reiterate that only authorized vehicles allowed to utilize the Edsa Bus Carousel lane are public utility buses, emergency vehicles, and clearly-marked government vehicles responding to emergencies,” MMDA reminded.
Task Force Special Operations Unit Head Bong Nebrija earlier said that Revilla was among the passengers of a convoy that he allowed to pass through the exclusive bus lane.
However, in a media forum a few hours later, Nebrija said that he did not personally see the senator on board the vehicle and only relied on other MMDA traffic enforcers’ claims, thus the permission to let the convoy use the bus lane.
Nebrija also apologized to Revilla and clarified that he did not intend to defame the senator.
“Sorry, senator, that was not our intention,” he said.
“My judgment was based on the information that was given to me. We have no intention to defame,” he added.
Revilla, in a separate statement, denied the “malicious” allegations.
“My daily commute is from the south to the Senate, and there is no possibility I will be on Edsa in Mandaluyong. When attending official functions in the north, I take the Skyway from and back to the south,” Revilla explained.