Cainta to fete heroic biker, traffic aide
“I wasn’t really thinking. I just had goose bumps and followed what my heart was telling me.”
Jecenth Mateo, 22, recounted the moment he got off his bike to chase a motorcycle rider who suddenly drove off after being flagged down by a female traffic enforcer in Cainta, Rizal province, Tuesday last week.
Mateo and the traffic enforcer, 36-year-old Annabelle Montiadora, have since been hailed as heroes by netizens who had seen the now-viral video of the incident, first played in GMA 7 news reports.
More praises—the official kind—await them courtesy of the local government of Cainta, which is feting them in the flag ceremony at the municipal hall on Monday.
In an interview on Saturday at his Cainta residence, Mateo said he never thought of gaining fame when he ran after Warren Ramos, a call center agent who claimed he was a policeman when approached by Montiadora for a traffic violation. Ramos, 37, almost ran over the traffic aide after she lost her balance because of his sudden acceleration.
“I was not thinking of what other people would say about me or the dangers I faced. When I saw the woman (Montiadora) being hurt, my heart told me it was the right thing to do,” said Mateo. “If you were also in my position, for sure you would do the same thing.”
Meanwhile, Montiadora expressed her gratitude to Mateo for helping her—even in a chance encounter between total strangers. “When you really want to help, you just do it even without first knowing the person you are doing it for,” she told the Inquirer also on Saturday.
Mateo, a construction worker, only finished Grade 3. He was biking along Ortigas Avenue Extension in Barangay Sto. Domingo, Cainta, on his way to work in Taguig City when he saw Montiadora falling to the ground because of the fleeing Ramos.
“I hope he understands that I was only doing the right thing. It was not my intention to have him thrown in jail,” he said.
But Ramos, who hails from San Ildefonso, Bulacan, and who had his girlfriend as his passenger that morning, did end up behind bars.
Like what he did to Montiadora, Ramos also “threatened me and said he was a policeman,” Mateo recalled.
Mateo and Montiadora will receive certificates of appreciation from the Cainta municipal government, plus a financial reward from Mayor Kit Nieto.
Reached on the phone on Saturday, Nieto said Mateo particularly deserves commendation for going out of his way to help. “If 300,000 people in Cainta can emulate him, it will be such a boost to the town.”
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