MANILA — A Bureau of Immigration (BI) officer was promoted to supervisor for returning $10,000 in cash to a Canada-bound passenger at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) recently.

Amando L. Amisola, 37, who has been with the BI for less than two years, said he never hesitated to return the money when he found it inside an envelope near his counter.

This, despite his mother being seriously ill in the hospital with stage 4 ovarian cancer.

During a simple ceremony held at the BI main office in Intramuros, Manila, immigration officer-in-charge Ronaldo Ledesma, who also awarded Amisola with a commendation said, “your honesty and integrity is the clearest indication yet that we now have in the Bureau of Immigration a cadre of young employees and officials whose sense of professionalism is unquestioned and beyond doubt.”

For his part, Amisola narrated that on Nov. 27, at around 11 a.m., he noticed a brown envelope in front of his counter while he was conducting primary inspection on departing passengers at the NAIA Terminal I.

He immediately checked the package and found a bundle of $100 bills inside, along with other travel documents of an immigrant Filipino family bound for Canada.

“I immediately left the envelope to my fellow immigration officers so that I can leave my counter and find the passenger who left the money,” he recalled.

“I saw them approaching the boarding area and I called out to ask the man if he has not forgotten anything,” he said.

The passenger, Francisco Patricio, then realized that their money, almost a million pesos, was missing.

“I brought him to the counter again to check his envelope and counted the money, and he found it intact. He was thankful and expressed his gratitude,” Amisola said in an incident report he submitted to his superiors at NAIA I.

An overjoyed Patricio said he and his family are moving to Canada to start a new life.

Amisola admitted in a radio interview that he was tempted to keep the money but eventually decided he had to do the right thing.

“Honestly naalala ko mother ko na Stage-4 cancer itatakbo that morning sa hospital,” he confided.

Pinakita ko sa kasamahan ko, parang sinasadya ng tadhana, parang pagsubok. Naisip ko di akin yan kaya isauli ko sa may-ari,” Amisola, said on dzBB radio.

He said he knew he would not be able to pay for his mother Rosita’s hospital bills, but he was sure she would be happy because he did the right thing.

He said his mother had been brought out of the ICU at the University of Santo Tomas Hospital in Manila because his family could not afford to pay the hospital bills.

She had been moved to an isolation room, he said.

Masaya siya sa ginawa ko dahil tama ang ginawa ko...Marunong po ang Diyos (My mother would be happy because I did the right thing. I know God will provide),” he said.

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