I was really hungry, says clerk arrested for stealing can of corned beef

/ 05:03 AM December 18, 2017

The 21-year-old supermarket sales clerk who was arrested for stealing a can of corned beef worth P31.50 remains behind bars a week after he confessed to the crime.

Asked by the Inquirer on Sunday about the status of his case, Paul Matthew Tanglao admitted being clueless.


As far as he knows, his mother has already posted bail for the charge of qualified theft filed against him by his employer.

Pressed for more details, Tanglao pleaded ignorance, saying he and his mother were not exactly on speaking terms due to some misunderstanding.

The policeman in charge of his case was not around when the Inquirer talked to Tanglao.

“I felt like I’ve been shamed and embarrassed before the world. I’m not saying what I did was right. I know it’s wrong. All I’m saying is I was just really hungry [that day] and I didn’t have money,” he said.

Broke and hungry

Tanglao had less than P20 in his pocket on Dec. 10 when he reported for duty at the supermarket in Sta. Ana, Manila.

He did not even have enough money for the fare home to Pembo, Makati City, he added.

He first felt the hunger pangs at 4 p.m. At 5:45 p.m., he could no longer ignore it.

He went to the supermarket warehouse and took the can of corned beef. When retrieved, it was used as evidence against him, on top of his confession.

He knew he was guilty so Tanglao said he did not resist when the head of the supermarket security team accosted him and brought him to the police station.


“I thought they’d just kicked me out of the workplace. I didn’t expect them to file a criminal complaint against me,” he said.

A policeman familiar with Tanglao’s case shook his head while talking to the Inquirer.

“Of course, stealing is not right. If it were up to me, I wouldn’t even file [a case]. I’d just fire him. Look, the money spent on photocopying the documents needed to file the case in court is more expensive than the price of the corned beef,” he said.

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TAGS: corned beef theft, Paul Matthew Tanglao
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