COTABATO CITY -- A rookie cop has given honors to police in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm) by returning the P20,000 cash he found in a Land Bank automated teller machine (ATM) booth, a police official said on Thursday, August 10.
“The amount is immaterial, what is important is the honesty showed by PO1 Zorilla,” Chief Superintendent Reuben Sindac, police regional director, said of Police Officer (PO) 1 Jose Angelo Zorilla.
Zorilla, assigned with the Armm Regional Public Safety Battalion, has been battling the extremists in Marawi City since May 24 and was on vacation 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 was 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 In the ATM receipt outlet, he found the transaction slip showing the amount withdrawn.
“Maybe, the owner thought the ATM was offline or it did not dispense cash so he or she left,” Zorilla said.
He added that taking the money never crossed his mind and honesty was instilled to him by his parents.
Zorilla decided to hand over the cash to the Land Bank cashier and did his own transaction.
“Maybe, the owner was a police, soldier, teacher or any government worker checking on his/her pay like me,” he said.
The rookie officer 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 colleagues have all but good words for him.
“Aside from the air of honesty and integrity, PO1 Zorilla is another police officer leaving life within his means and making both ends meet for his family,” his colleagues at Philippine National Police-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.
Zorilla’s 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)