Soldiers have nothing but praise for their colleague who returned a bag containing a huge amount of money and jewelry items left by the roadside Tuesday by a traveling couple in Pagalungan, Maguindanao.
Maj. Arvin John Encinas, Army’s 6th Infantry Division (ID) spokesperson, identified the honest soldier as S/Sgt. Algem Obelidon, a member of the Army’s 7th Infantry Battalion (IB) stationed in Pagalungan town.
Encinas said Obelidon and colleagues were conducting foot patrol along the highway in Barangay Galakit of the municipality on Tuesday morning when they spotted the bag along the roadside.
Thinking at first that the bag may contain explosive materials planted by lawless elements, Obelidon, who had basic training on dealing with volatile devices, slowly approached the bag and carefully inspected it.
“To their surprise, however, the bag instead had money of various denominations and jewelry items amounting to some PHP100,000 in it,” Encinas said.
The bag also contained identification documents indicating its owners as couple Misuari and Bai Liya Mamalak, of Barangay Dalumangcob, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao.
Encinas said Obelidon immediately brought the bag to the 7th IB headquarters where they contacted the owners through their mobile phone number.
The owners later arrived to claim the bag that contained bank cards, the couple’s passports, PHP 2,000 pesos in cash, 1,000 Lebanese pounds; 6,000 Korean won, and PHP 100,000 worth of jewelry.
“The couple was happy because nothing was lost in the bag,” Encinas said.
The couple said they had visited relatives over the weekend in Pagalungan and were on their way home to Sultan Kudarat when they forgot to load the bag, one of several pieces of baggage they had, into the passenger van.
He added that Obelidon did not accept anything from the couple in return for his honesty.
Maj. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, Army’s 6th ID commander, lauded Obelidon for his honesty and vowed to honor him in an upcoming 6ID event.
“He is one soldier worth emulating,” Sobejana said. (PNA/Noel Punzalan)