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Chavit caught on Edsa bus lane, enforcers apologetic

Chavit caught on Edsa bus lane, enforcers apologetic

If he’s not flying on his private jet, former Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis “Chavit” Singson is out in the streets with his customized armored truck.
But Singson’s two-vehicle convoy was among those apprehended on Monday morning by traffic enforcers of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) for encroaching on the Edsa busway. Singson was at the back seat of his Fortress bulletproof vehicle when his convoy—the other car a black SUV—was flagged down around 9 a.m. along the northbound side of Edsa-Cubao in Quezon City.
His armored truck was a “BMW”—not the German car manufacturer but Baluarte Motor Works. The local armoring car solution company is owned by Singson himself.
The politician-turned-businessman, who is also a former mayor of Narvacan town in his home province, has not disclosed the price of his customized armored cars. But he said the vehicle was much cheaper than those made by foreign manufacturers.
Still, bulletproofing alone costs a fortune, ranging from P2 million to P5 million, depending on the vehicle’s size.
Singson did not object to being flagged down by traffic enforcers. He even asked them to issue a violation ticket so they could settle the P5,000 fine for each of the two vehicles.
Singson explained that his convoy “accidentally” made its way to the bus lane as his driver was trying to overtake a vehicle in front of them. He also said he was rushing for his interview at Net25. In a two-minute video statement, Singson apologized to the MMDA and said what happened should not be emulated by other motorists.
He also congratulated the traffic enforcers “for doing a great job and treating everyone equally,” saying he would like to give a reward
of P100,000 to the enforcers who flagged down his convoy.
Netizens, however, were not amused by how MMDA enforcers treated him with deference, as shown in videos by reporters who were there.
One of them was apologetic and was heard asking for Singson’s patience (“Pasensya na po, sir”), while his driver was being issued a citation ticket.
“The apprehending officer was very afraid because it’s Chavit. He even said sorry so many times. But if it’s an ordinary motorist, traffic enforcers are ruthless. Well, that’s life in the Philippines,” went a comment on social media.
Singson’s vehicle was not cited for having blinkers, even if these were not used for law enforcement or emergencies. The car also didn’t have a license plate. He explained that his armored truck was “newly made.”
“It has its documents, but it is not yet registered, because it is still being tested as this car is made to order,” Singson said in his video statement.
But based on a quick search on Singson’s Facebook page, his vehicle had been on the road since 2022. It even had the campaign poster of then candidates Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Sara Duterte posted on the front hood.
‘We have to be fair’
Gabriel Go, head of MMDA’s special operations group-strike force, did not sound as deferential when interviewed by DzBB .
“We are just enforcing our rules. As long as you are not authorized to be on the bus lane, then we will apprehend you,” he said.
“We have to be fair and do what is right.”
“We are continuing our intensified operations. We want to enforce discipline among our motorists,” he added.
The Edsa bus lane is primarily for the use of public utility buses, ambulances, and marked government vehicles responding to emergencies.
But convoys of the President, Vice President, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives and Chief Justice are also authorized on the busway.
The MMDA, in its Regulation No. 23-002 issued in November last year., increased the penalty for use of the bus lane from P1,000 to P5,000 on the first offense. The fines are higher and the penalties stricter for succeeding violations. INQ
PHOTO: Screen grab of the actual apprehension from DZBB Super Radyo