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MIAA lauds NAIA security guard who returns P1.9 million in cash, jewelry

Mahmud Mastul
Mahmud Mastul with the money he returned.

A security guard assigned at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 was lauded by Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) officer-in-charge general manager Bryan Co for his display of honesty when he found and returned an abandoned suitcase containing a bundle of US dollar and Philippine pesos, including some gold jewelry with a total worth of at least P1.9 million.

Co said that he was just too happy to receive the good news, adding: “Mr. Mastul’s display of honesty by promptly reporting the incident not only sets a good example to his colleagues but also proves that our efforts to promote integrity and professionalism among airport workers is gaining ground from all levels of service.”

Citing a report received by his office, Co said that Mastul, 34, spotted the unattended black suitcase last July 21, 2023 while roving his area of assignment at the greeters’ area of the arrival extension at NAIA Terminal 1.

He immediately sought the assistance of the MIAA- Airport Police (MIAA-APD) and the Philippine National Police Aviation Security Group and as part of the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), police cordoned the area for explosive devices with the help of bomb-sniffing dogs and PNP Special Operations Unit (SOU) and found no threat to security.

Mastul, along with police officials and other witnesses brought the suitcase to the “lost and found section” of the airport and inspected the contents of the left-behind suitcase for proper documentation.

Based on documents found, police contacted a certain Miguel Carpio, a passenger of Philippine Airlines (flight withheld) who immediately went back to the airport to claim his black suitcase after identifying the contents of the suitcase and verification that it was really his.

Mastul, 34, has been in NAIA since 2016 where he has been assigned in different areas of the airport. In his seven years of working there, he said this is the first time that he was able to experience a situation where his honesty was put to test.

“Kung hindi naman sa iyo, malaki man o maliit na bagay, kailangan mo i-surrender kasi hindi naman sa iyo ‘yung gamit na ‘yon. Hindi mo dapat pag-interesan ang hindi sa iyo. Kailangan isasauli sa tunay na may-ari ang gamit na ‘yon.” Mastul said.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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