Honest Naia workers cited: ‘My God, you people are amazing!’


“They are angels in our midst.”

This was how Manila International Airport Authority General Manager Jose Angel Honrado described four airport workers who returned money and other valuables left behind by passengers at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia).

“This February alone, we have multiple recoveries reported to us. This is truly heartwarming.  We are very happy that the culture of honesty is very much alive at Naia.  These ‘angels’ are our source of pride,” Honrado told reporters on Tuesday.

In the latest incident that took place on Feb. 8 at Naia Terminal 3, Rodileen de la Vega, a building attendant, found a black wallet on top of the utility shelf inside one of the toilet cubicles.

She called her work partner, Mina Ilagan, and asked her to call for another witness. Together, they brought the wallet to the Airport Police Department (APD) outpost for proper turnover and to check the owner, who was later identified as Maksim Pantaleev.

The wallet, which contained peso and US dollar bills with a total value of around P60,000, was later claimed by Pantaleev.

Three more recoveries were reported to the Miaa earlier this month.

On Feb. 2, Ronnie Oquendo, a member of the Miaa job order personnel, found a black pouch containing P96,000 in cash that was left behind by the then Bacolod City-bound Lucebar Tajan inside a toilet also at Terminal 3. Oquendo turned over the pouch to the APD’s lost-and-found section.

Tajan was contacted thanks to an identification card belonging to his wife Arsenia, which was also found in the pouch.  The couple were already in Bacolod when reached by Naia officials.

Tajan flew back to Manila the following day to get the pouch, and gave Oqueno a token of the couple’s gratitude.

“We are going to use the money for the treatment of our child who is sick.  We commend Mr. Oquendo for his honesty,” Tajan later told reporters.

On Feb. 6, Mark Joven Aquino, a service crew member of Little Vin Vin cafeteria at Terminal 2, found a brown leather vest on one of the seats of the restaurant, with one of the pockets containing some P66,000 in cash.  The vest and the money were returned to the owner that same day.

On Feb. 7, Richard Baybayon, a messenger-janitor of the Bank of Commerce branch at Terminal 1, found a brown clutch bag on top of the bank counter. The bag contained cash in different currencies, two silver bracelets, a digital camera, a mobile phone and a British passport belonging to  Alan Bernard Stephens.

Stephens, a 59-year-old banker then on vacation in the country, realized he had lost his bag when was already in a cab going to his hotel.

The tourist went back to Naia with little hope of getting his bag back—and was surprised to find it in the lost-and-found section.

“My God, you people are really amazing! For that amount I knew that the finders would think twice about returning it, but you airport people are wonderful. Thank you very much,” an APD staff member quoted the Briton as saying.

Honrado said he would gather the honest airport employees in the monthly flag ceremony next month to formally honor them. Airport employees who had received praise for similar deeds in the past were given plaques of appreciation and bonuses.

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • juan12376

    Thanks for your honesty, it makes us so proud being a Filipino.

    —(overseas worker)

  • John_Galt_II

    Pero kung taga immigration o kaya customs ang nakakuha sigurado hindi na isosoli!
    Sasabihin bigay sa kanila ni lord.

    • mahal_ko_ang_bayan_ko

      malamang ganun nga ang mangyari…sana yun mga taga customs, immigration and mga politiko mag training sa mga ganitong klaseng tao..imagine yun mga pangkaraniwan empleyado kayang gawin ang ganitong bagay…

  • AntiAko

    I, on the other hand, lost my wallet and everything in it at the rest room of the NAIA Terminal 3. 

    Hanggang kelan, magnanakaw talaga ang lahi natin.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_D3LDMMAKC6UDQLDVFP2DGSJBXY Jezzrel

      malamang iyong nakikita eh hindi workers sa terminal 3, baka kapwa mo pasahero nya ha ha ha………..

  • tata_boy

    Maraming salamat dahil sa inyo bumabalik ang paniwala ko na may mga pinoy na may ginintuang kalooban.

  • Trollollolloll

    “Honrado said he would gather the honest airport employees in the monthly flag ceremony next month to formally honor them. ”

    This might be a very bad idea. Baka pagbabatuhin yan ng mga corrupt at dishonest na staff ng NAIA, which I approximate to be around 90% of total airport staff and employees – based on experience and observation.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_D3LDMMAKC6UDQLDVFP2DGSJBXY Jezzrel

      buti kung 90% eh pano kung 99% sila he he he

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XALR35ENV2XKV327BZGZ7Q5Z5Q Ernesto

    dapat ang politiko sa atin ganyan din honest at wag mag nakaw sa kaban ng bayan 

  • WeAry_Bat

    I hope deep inside some dishonest politicians is a little cry of shame.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_D3LDMMAKC6UDQLDVFP2DGSJBXY Jezzrel

      umasa ka pa, sa kapal ba naman ng balat, me hiya pa ba sila?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/EE5LMUQHMXD2Q3PBSSDKBMG7VI Rexy

    mabuhay kayo !!! iayn ang tunay na pilipino !!! sana ganoon din ang mga nasa gobyerno natin !!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/noel.naig Noel Naig

    bow ako sa inyo ….kahit sa hirap ng buhay ngaun…pinili pa rin ninyong maging Honest….sana dumami pa kau…sa mga dishonest pepol dyan sa naia sana tumulad kau sa kanila….

  • Yoda_C3PO

    Mabuhay kayo!!!

  • disqus_ZrxaGjUzMQ

    Give them Pay increase not only Display paper

  • Hey_Dudes

    These are the types of Filipino  nationals  who should be in congress writing not only laws benefiting to people and country, honest and decent people like these should be in government safeguarding people’s money.

  • tanga_hanga_ni_abnoy

    ganito ka bihira ang matitinong tao ngayon..nasa news na

  • Rovingmoron

    Sir, promote them because these employees can be trusted.

  • jmc49

    I’m very proud for airport workers who do honesty, SALUDO ako sa inyo sana tuloy tuloy po ang inyong maganda ginagawa.
    Sa mga ibang pang mga empleyado sa airport sana gawin din ninyo yong honesty policy kc alam ko marami pa rin dyan gumagawa ng hinde maganda.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VUT4YW36QJREEGOBH5IYKNQMKI Kokak

    Ganito na kababa ang standard nating mga pilipino.
    Nagsoli lang ng gamit na hindi kanya – na dapat lang naman na gawin – bayani na agad.
    Isipin tuloy ng mga dayuhan, ang normal pala dito sa pilipinas eh yung hindi nagsosoli.


       bugok di yan standard..moral yan ng pagkatao…ano kaya gagawin ng taong nawalan..kung ito lang ang pera niya para sa me sakit na anak..

    • tagatabas

       Di kaya ikaw ang mababa ang standard? Sino mang mangagawa public man o pribado kapag nakagawa ng higit sa inaasahan ay binibigyan ng kaukulang papuri. Isipin mo uli ang sinabi mo, Imbes na matuwa ka at may mga pinoy na gumagawa ng tama ay galit kapa. Siguro kung ikaw ang nasa kalagayan nila ibubulsa mo na ang pera. Ganyan ka mag-isip.

      • batangpaslit

        may sinabi din ako sa kanya. i concur with your feedback

    • benjpal

      I think by all means fair sa both parties (sa nakawala at nagsauli) na parangalan ang nagsauli. Bayani sila dahil niligtas nila ang mga nakawala ng gamit mula sa katangahan at pagiging irresponsable ang mga ito.

    • batangpaslit

      to a point tama ka. dapat natural lamang na isuli ang hindi sa ‘yo
      what what is wrong to encouraged honesty in an otherwise corrupt environment?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/MESKVVF473U4YSVN343XOT2XLE kram

      Bitter Ka? o siguro minsan may napulot ka pero di mo isinoli kaya bitter ka sa mga honest person….

  • yonoh

    dapat ganyan sana yong mga nakaupo sa gobyerno at politiko natin na magnanakaw di binubulsa ang pera ng bayan,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,sana dumami pang ganyan na pinoy……….sa mga politiko at nakaupo sa gobyerno na magnanakaw sana gayahin nyo itong mga kababayan natin………………para naman mabawasan ang nagugutom at naghihirap sa pinas,,,,,,sa pinas………………..

    • batangpaslit

      hehehe….tama ka, “sana”

  • johnlordphilip

    Great news for the Filipinos arround the world. Just a thought, why not gather data as to the rate of recovery of lost items in the airport? I think it is important to get a bigger picture of how we are faring with other countries in this. For example in Japan, the recovery rate is almost 100%.

  • goldelguira

    Your God inspire workers need raise of there salary as part of incentive schemes that good people must be given more. Not only presentation gifts, or plaque of appreciation but you acknowledge there good deeds as commendable.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JJPX5VQBBTUNFT5FZNYQJXNZUQ francis

    This is very good news. Keep up the good work guys.  God bless you all.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/4XVVCOAZXYTPN2X3IPFCFDSKFM Melvin

    Its quite a heart-warming news… 

    • batangpaslit


  • http://www.facebook.com/emmacv1 Emma Custodio Villa

    That is the new Filipino….hnest, maaasahan, magaling, may takot sa Dios, may pagmamahal sa kapwa

    • ed_nique


      i would rather say this is the real pinoy trait … unfortunately, a declining trait brought about by the present economic realities.

  • Roy Rosales

    we should all be proud of our honest kababayans for their unselfish dedication to sincere honesty,which to my mind is a clear reflection of the very good governance of pinoy which has inspired all of us down the line to be motivated to be good filipinos

  • AllaMo

    Mabuhay kayo, mga huwarang kabayan. Nawa’y yumabong ang inyong tribo. May God continue to bless you and your families.

  • dikoy321

    Recognize, promote, honor, award them, if NAIA budget allows it !

    These RARE breed of Filipinos are a PRIDE for the Filipino Nation !

    CARRY ON mga Kabayan, WORK for a GOOD NAME for our country !

    Forward Philippines !!!

  • batangpaslit

    magaling ang recruitment program ng NAIA
    my kudos
    well done mga Kababayan

    • ed_nique

      i’m not sure about the building attendant but seems like they were not organic NAIA employees,  a job order and 2 others worked for airport tenants.

  • fache

    Those honest employees of NAIA should be given assurances that their job is safe and promotions should follow through, well done!

  • ProudToBePinoy75

    Let us continue to show the world what we Filipions are. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!!!

  • $14523613

    yung dapat ingatan eh yung mga drivers ng mga taxi paglabas mo dyan sa naia. pagnaiwan mo gamit mo babay na! sobra sobra pa maningil pa ayaw gamitin ang kanilang metro.

  • dickenhead

    isn’t it really amazing! the lowliest paid employees, in fact the poorest people are the most honest. God bless you all!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HDTE7DTFZTA2IMMU7GFA7SLPYU Edison James

    anong amazing jan?!?!?! hindi sa kanila eh malamang dapat ibalik… theft nga ang hindi pagsauli ng napulot na gamit ehh.. para na ring sinabing, paparangalan ko si Joseph kasi hindi siya pumatay ng tao ngayon.

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94

editors' picks