NAIA security guard earns praises for returning nearly P2 million cash, jewelry

July 27, 2023 - 12:51 PM
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NAIA security guard
Security guard Mahmud Mastul returning valuables found at Terminal 1 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in this photo posted on Facebook on July 25, 2023 (MIAAGovPH/Facebook)

Airport security guard Mahmud Mastul was lauded by his former teammate and a former instructor from his alma mater when he made headlines for returning jewelry and cash nearly worth P2 million.

The 34-year-old roving guard was on duty at the Terminal 1 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on Friday, July 21, when he saw a suitcase left behind at the arrival greeters area.

The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) reported that Mastul immediately sought assistance from the MIAA Police and the Philippine National Police Aviation Security Group to implement necessary procedures.

The suitcase was then turned over to the MIAA Lost and Found Section for proper inventory and documentation in the presence of witnesses.

Reports said that the authorities found several American dollars and Philippine peso banknotes amounting to over P1.9 million and some gold jewelry.

The valuables were returned to the owner when his identity was established. The latter had flown in from abroad on a Philippine Airlines flight.

According to Mastul, it was the first time he was able to experience such a situation in his seven years of working at NAIA. He said it was also the first time his honesty was tested.

“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,” he said.

“Ang mahalaga lang sa’kin ay maisauli ko ang kumpletong gamit na walang kulang. Kumpletong-kumpleto lahat ng gamit. ‘Yun lang po,” the security guard added.

The MIAA said travelers may bring $10,000 worth of currency in and out of the country.

MIAA Officer-in-Charge Bryan Co praised Matsul for his honesty and acknowledged him for setting a “good example to his colleagues.”

Co added that it also proves their efforts “to promote integrity and professionalism among airport workers is gaining ground from all levels of service.”

Meanwhile, Mastul’s initiative was recognized and lauded by his former teammate and a former instructor at his alma mater.

“My former [teammate]. Proud of you, brother. Keep it up
#SCC MVT,” Facebook user Mifresh Puraida wrote in response to the news.

“Mahmud Mastul is an alumnus of MSU-TCTO Bakong High School in Simunul, Tawi-Tawi. Proud of you, toh,” Facebook user Basil V Sali, who claims to be a former college instructor at the Mindanao State University Tawi-Tawi College of Technology and Oceanography, said. 

Other Facebook users thought that Mastul deserves a “promotion” for his good deed, especially since he has been a longtime worker at the airport.

“Deserve [niya ng] promotion as a reward. Good job, sir,” a Pinoy wrote with hugging and clapping emojis.

“Good job, manong. Will Allah [bless] you. Sana maging pamarisan ka [diyan] sa NAIA. Hindi lang sa mga security, kundi ‘yung ibang ahensiya na nagtatrabaho diyan,” another online user commented.

Last year, two mall employees were also lauded for returning a bag containing P600,000 worth of money.

READ: Security guard, supermarket employee return lost P600,000