MMDA Rescue Personnel cited for returning US$79,500 to rightful owner

By Nelson Flores, Ll.B., MSCK

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chair Danilo Lim Photo ©

METROPOLITAN Manila Development Authority Chairman Danilo Lim on Wednesday commended three personnel of the agency’s Road Emergency Group for honesty after they returned a sling bag with US$ 79,500 to a vehicular accident victim in Taguig City last Tuesday.

Lim said rescue personnel Mariel Bacho, Kristopher Concepcion, and Sheena Santillan did not think twice about returning the bag containing bundles of US dollars – equivalent to more than PhP4 million – to Thomas Dichavez, who was at St Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig City for treatment following a vehicular accident. He added that their exemplary and admirable character, and truthfulness are laudable.

Records showed that it was about 3:59 am when the team responded to a road accident involving a sports utility vehicle and a truck long the southbound lane of C5 Road.

Upon arrival at the accident scene, Bacho said they found Dichavez inside a Mitsubishi Montero in an inclined position and immediately pulled him out of the damaged vehicle. He added Dichavez was injured and conscious but could not speak clearly..

Upon looking for the victim’s identification card, a bystander who first responded at the accident scene handed them a sling bag which was found inside the victim’s vehicle. The team immediately secured the victim’s belongings and rushed him to the hospital, Lim said.

Bacho said it was only at the hospital when they learned the worth of the belongings.

The bag was turned over to the security personnel of the hospital to make sure it will be returned back to the owner, he added.

According to Bacho, it was not the first time that they returned valuables back to road accident victims. He said it is part of the MMDA road emergency personnel training to return recovered items from accident scenes.

“When we saw the bundles of US dollars inside the bag, it never crossed our mind to take it. We are also thankful to the male bystander who found the bag inside the vehicle,” said Bacho.

Lim, for his part, said “we commend our employees for displaying an act of honesty. It is indeed worthy of emulation.”


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Nelson Flores, J.D., MSCK
A former reporter of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Manila Standard Today, and a regular columnist of the Metro Manila based daily tabloid newspaper Hataw; Nelson Flores is also the former Senior Associate Editor of the Houston based Fil-Am Press and former anchor of dzXL and dzRJ's weekend talk show Usaping Bayan. Mr. Flores has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Law degrees from the University of Santo Tomas and Adamson University and a holder of a study certificate from the Diocesan House of Studies, Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI). He is a Freemason and member of Reagan Lodge 1037 in Houston Heights under the jurisdiction of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Texas and a member of the Missionary Society of Christ the King (MSCK).

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