Woman wows ’em with what she found in QCPD chief’s pantsBy Julie M. Aurelio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Eight months ago, 26-year-old Joy Ann Valentos of Morong, Bataan province, decided to move out of town and explore life in the big city. Not necessarily to land a higher-paying job, she said, but to go on a new adventure.
Last week, that adventurous spirit faced an unexpected test.
Valentos, now a laundry shop employee in Quezon City, recalled how “my hands went cold the moment I felt the cash inside the back pockets. I didn’t know what to do.”
She was referring to the money she found around noon Thursday in the pocket of a police officer’s uniform that she was about to wash.
The cash amounted to P5,770. The pants belonged to no less than city’s top cop, Senior Supt. Richard Albano.
The laundry woman appeared whiter than white in the eyes of many when she came to Camp Karingal Friday night together with her employer to personally return the money to Albano, director of the Quezon City Police District.
Albano, who thought he had misplaced the money and lost it for good, profusely thanked Valentos, praising her honesty as he called some of his men to his office to witness the turnover.
“It is good to know that we have countrymen who value honesty even when faced with temptation,” the official said.
Accompanying Valentos was her boss Grace Montessa of Chelsea Laundry Services on V. Luna Avenue Extension, which is a short walk from Karingal and regularly accepts laundry from policemen based in the camp.
Albano recalled that he sent one of his uniforms to the shop on Thursday not knowing it still had cash in it. “I don’t use a wallet. That money is actually for unexpected purchases,” the official said with a chuckle.
“I didn’t even count it. I was so afraid,” said a smiling Valentos. At first, she nervously asked her two coworkers for advice on what to do with the money and eventually reported the matter to her boss.
Montessa, the shop owner, recalled: “She told me, ‘Ma’am, I have a problem.’ I thought she was going to quit work. But when I learned that she wanted to return the money, I felt so proud.”
According to Valentos, she had also been entrusted with administrative and financial matters at the laundry shop because of her past experience doing similar tasks at a resort in Bataan.
Eight months ago, the fisherman’s daughter decided to move to Metro Manila—not really to earn more but just to try out life in the big city. She had since been sending money to her parents back home.
It wasn’t the first time she returned an item found in the laundry. Earlier, she found an ATM card.
The temptation was always there, she said, but she could not find it in her heart to take something that is not hers.
“I know that doing something like that could later make me pay a heavier price,” Valentos said. “I feel better with what I did because it was the right thing.”