Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Financially-strapped tricycle driver returns $17,000 left behind by passenger

With his wife in the hospital and the rent overdue, he really could have used the money. But a taxi driver in the Philippines did the honest thing. He returned $17,000 left behind by a passenger.

Iluminado Boc returned the money to police in Tagbilaran city on central Bohol island last week, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported Monday. The woman who lost the bag of cash had just reported it to police when Boc showed up at the precinct.

Boc never thought twice.

"It was not mine," Boc was quoted as saying.

Boc, 45, said he was struggling financially because his wife was taken to a hospital the same day he found the money, and they had unpaid rent.

The owner rewarded him with $32 - about seven times what a motorcycle taxi driver makes a day. --AP

This piece of news was reported by the following online news websites, as of 14:46 Beijing time, 4 July 2007:,CST-NWS-honest03.article

Original report by the Inquirer
By Kit Bagaipo
Visayas Bureau
Last updated 07:32pm (Mla time) 07/01/2007

TAGBILARAN CITY -- It could have been an easy answer to his financial woes, but tricycle driver Iluminado Boc felt he had to let it pass.

The 45-year old driver, a resident of Habitat Village in Bool, this city, turned over to the local police a pouch containing $17,000 (approximately P800,000), which was left by its owner in the passenger seat of his tricycle on June 23.

On the same day Boc found the bag containing so much cash, his wife was hospitalized due to a lingering ailment.

Boc, whom the Philippine Daily Inquirer was able to interview on Saturday, said it was not the first time he returned items left in his motorcab.

There were instances when he returned valuable items such as cellular phones, he said.

The tricycle driver admitted his monthly payments for his house in Habitat Village were long overdue. He is also paying monthly installments for his tricycle unit. Then came his wife's hospitalization.

But he said he was never tempted to keep the money. "It was not mine," was his simple answer when asked why he did not keep the money.

Boc said that at around 1 p.m. last June 23, a woman took a ride on his tricycle from the city airport to the Integrated Bus Terminal in Dao, this city.

He said it was not until he stopped for a break at around 3 p.m. that he noticed the pouch bag in the passenger seat and found it contained dollar bills. He remembered that it belonged to the woman who rode from the airport.

Boc said he was surprised that other passengers who took his motorcab from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., did not tell him about the pouch.

Boc said he immediately drove to the city police station and delivered the pouch to the lost-and-found section.

He said it was only there that he learned that the pouch contained $17,000 and that the woman who owned it arrived at the same police precinct a few minutes earlier and had started describing her lost item to the police.

Boc said he immediately recognized the woman as the person who left the pouch in his motorcab.

He said the woman gave him P1,500 as a reward. He said he was initially hesistant to accept the money but upon the prodding of the grateful passenger and the police officers at the station, he did.

Boc said he was not able to get the name of the woman.

The city police has no record of the name of the woman because her lost item was recovered before the incident could be recorded in the police blotter.

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