Chiz Escudero Acknowledges Ownership of Vehicle Caught on EDSA Bus Lane

A recent incident involving an SUV bearing a government-issued protocol plate has stirred controversy and prompted apologies from Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero. The vehicle, flagged down by authorities on Thursday, initially sparked speculation about its ownership, with a netizen falsely attributing it to former Senator Tito Sotto.

Chiz Escudero

The Land Transportation Office (LTO) clarified that the SUV belonged to Senator Escudero, who admitted to the misuse of the protocol plate number “7.” In a statement to the LTO, Escudero disclosed that a family member was driving the vehicle at the time of the incident. He promptly directed the driver to comply with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority’s (MMDA) show-cause order and surrendered the protocol plates to the LTO.

Expressing remorse for the oversight, Escudero extended apologies to the public and his colleagues. He commended the authorities for their vigilance and reaffirmed his commitment to abide by traffic regulations, irrespective of one’s position or title.

The incident occurred along the EDSA Busway, a restricted lane designated for public utility buses, emergency responders, government vehicles, and select dignitaries. Despite being flagged down, the driver hastily surrendered their license and sped off, citing urgency.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) expressed dismay over the incident, highlighting the need for accountability and adherence to traffic rules. However, due to the abrupt departure of the vehicle, enforcement officers were unable to pursue it.

This incident underscores broader concerns regarding the misuse of protocol plates and the need for stricter enforcement measures. Protocol plates are intended for official government use and should not be exploited for personal convenience or privilege.

In response to this incident, Senator Escudero pledged to ensure the appropriate use of protocol plates by Executive Order No. 56, issued in 2024. All public officials must uphold the integrity of government-issued privileges and lead by example in promoting road safety and adherence to regulations.

As investigations into the incident continue, it serves as a reminder of the importance of accountability and transparency in public service. Regardless of one’s stature, compliance with the law is paramount, and deviations from such standards must be addressed promptly and decisively.

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