COTABATO CITY, Aug. 10– A rookie police officer has given honors to police in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (PNP-Armm) by returning P20,000 cash he found in a Land Bank automated teller machine booth, a police official Thursday said.
”The amount is immaterial, what is important is the honesty showed by PO1 Zorilla,” Chief Supt. Reuben Sindac, police regional director, said of PO1 Jose Angelo Zorilla.
Zorilla, assigned with the Armm Regional Public Safety Battalion, has been battling the Islamic terrorists in Marawi City since May 24 and was on vacation here when his honesty was tested.
Last week, Zorilla went to the Land Bank-Cotabato City branch to check on his salary when he found the money at the ATM cash dispenser window.
Nobody in the ATM booth and Zorilla did not notice anyone leaving before he arrived. In the ATM receipt outlet he found the transaction slip showing the amount withdrawn.
”May be the owner thought the ATM was offline or it did not dispense cash so he or she left,” Zorilla theorized.
”It never entered my mind I will take the money that is not mine, honesty was instilled in me by my parents,” he said in Filipino.
Zorilla decided to hand over the cash to the Land Bank cashier and did his own transaction. “May be the owner was a police, soldier, teacher or any government worker checking on his/her pay like me,” he said.
Zorilla has two siblings both in the military, one as member of the Philippine Army and the other at the Philippine Air Force.
Sindac was very elated he would confer commendation to Zorilla who is now back in Marawi City after his three-day break he spent with his family in Cotabato City.
Zorilla’s colleague have all but good words for him.
“Aside from the air of honesty and integrity, P01 Zorilla is another police officer leaving life within his means and making both ends meet for his family,” his colleagues at PNP-Armm headquarters in Parang, Maguindanao said of his good act.
“Never will I keep it, I can earn such amount through hard labor,” said Zorilla whose parents are public servants. His mother is a teacher and his father is a retired soldier.
Nurtured in a catholic school, Zorilla was thought to be God-fearing and enrooted in his system is the importance of doing good deeds.
He recalled that in 1995, his father assigned in 39th ID once saved the passengers of a bus from the hold-uppers. “So helping others run in the blood,” Zorilla said.
Same thing with his reason of joining the Philippine National Police, he wanted to continue the legacy of his father of being a reputable public servant.
“His gesture makes a positive impact to the rightful owner of the money, this may also inspire his fellow police officers to do good to others. Doing good deed no matter how small or insignificant they may seem; does make a difference,” Sindac said. PNA-northboundasia.com