Two drivers who gave Revilla’s name while using the Edsa bus surface

BONG FACE BONG: Senator Bong Revilla Jr. (left) confronts the head of the MMDA Task Force’s special operations unit, Colonel Bong Nebrija (right, in a blue MMDA uniform), while MMDA Chairman Romando Artes (center) looks on at their meeting in the Senate on November 11 December 15, 2023 . Nebrija and Artes apologize to the senator for dragging his name in connection with the violation of traffic regulations. / MAILA AGER

MANILA, Philippines – Two drivers who used the name of Senator Ramon Revilla Jr. for illegally using the Edsa bus lane, appeared before the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and surrendered to officials on Thursday afternoon.

According to MMDA president Romando Artes, the agency issued tickets to the drivers for traffic violations and heard their statements about what happened during the incident.

READ: MMDA: Marked government vehicles banned from boarding buses in Edsa from Monday

“Both drivers admitted that Senator Revilla was not in their vehicle when they were stopped by traffic enforcement officers enforcing the Edsa Bus Lane regulations. Furthermore, Revilla does not own the vehicle,” the agency said in a statement.

Similarly, Artes said at an earlier news conference that the arresting officers, including the head of the task force’s special operations unit, Col. Bong Nebrija, admitted that they did not see Revilla inside the vehicle and relied only on the drivers’ statements.

He added that the MMDA has already fined drivers for bus lane violations – P5,000 for the first offense; however, he added that the last word on whether to charge them would be Revilla’s.

READ: MMDA chief: Nebrija’s suspension ‘not due to political pressure’

After the bus route fiasco, the MMDA chief suspended Nebrija, citing his mistakes rather than political pressure as the main reason.

Nebrija apologized to the senator, who later accepted his apology, but called on the senator to resign.

Among the mistakes Artes mentioned were disclosing the names of Revilla and former Ako Bicol Rep. Christopher Co to the media or violating the Data Protection Act, spreading fake news involving officials and passing vehicles.

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