By Edwin O. Fernandez
KIDAPAWAN CITY, Dec 14 (PNA) — It pays to be honest.
This was proven by a lowly paid security guard who turned over to a local radio station P15,200 cash he found at a roadside here last week.
And because of his honesty, the Kidapawan City government presented a plaque of recognition and offered employment to the blue guard in the local government unit if he qualifies.
Radio Station DXND interviewed Emerold Obatay, security guard of Mercury Drug Store-Kidapawan branch, and asked him how he found the money and why he was turning it over to the radio station to be announced so real owners could claim it.
“Who doesn’t need money? I need money too but this is not mine and in no way it will become mine,” Obatay told DXND Radyo Bida.
Obatay said he and his wife are yet to recover from the pain of losing a dear daughter due to sickness and had to pay debts for her medication.
“I badly need money, like anyone of us, but taking what is not mine is not right. I am poor but I have dignity and I am honest, I have to return it to its rightful owner and I have no way to know who the real owner was so I came over to your radio station,” Obatay said.
Convinced that what Obatay did was a very noble thing, Kidapawan City Councilor Gregory Yarra has sponsored a resolution to recognize Obatay’s good gesture.
“What he did was worth emulating, we should recognize his honesty,” Yarra said in sponsoring the resolution.
Summoned by the city council to appear and say something during regular SP session Thursday, Obatay told the legislators he was tempted at first to keep the money as nobody saw he found it.
“But the good thing in me prevailed so I decided to return the money. Besides, the owner deserved to have his or her hard earned money back,” Obatay said in between sobs.
“I was humbled by this recognition, I hope other Kidapawenios would do the same thing,” Obatay said.
Yarra said he will appeal to Mayor Joseph Evangelista to giver priority to Obatay in hiring government workers to a position he is qualified.
“The amount involved was too small for a trader who owns it but the issue is the finder’s honesty, that is what we are recognizing,” Yarra said.
Aside from recognition, the city council also approved to give Obatay P15,000 cash gift for his honesty, the same amount he found at a busy roadside.
Obatay also told the councilors that the real owner, a certain Mr. Porras, offered him reward money but he politely turned it down. (PNA)