by RONALYN BANAKEN
‘It never occurred to me to do anything
other than turn the money in’
Arjill Sanchi (center) is presented a certificate of commendation by Dr. Rebecca Miranda, UB’s Vice President for Academic Affairs (left) and Dr. Victor Delos Santos, Dean of the UB School of Criminal Justice and Public Safety (right)
A University of Baguio (UB) student got a surprise when he stopped to pull a bag he noticed lying on the side of the highway. The bag appeared to have tumbled out of a car running along the highway in Poblacion, Bokod. When he looked inside, he found stacks of cash.
“I grabbed the sling bag and when we opened it, it was full of cash,” said Arjill Sanchi, an incoming senior Criminology student at UB, who was riding a motorcycle in the evening of June 6 with his cousin, Leynard Epi, and his friend, Sheldon Tamiray, when he noticed the bag and pulled over.
“A jeepney was pulling over, too, in the direction of the bag. I guess the driver saw the bag, too,” he added.
Sanchi and his cousin and friend rifled through the bag, finding a wallet, checks, a passbook and two cellphones.
“We browsed the phones to look for contact details which might lead to the owner of the bag. We found a number and when the voice on the other line answered, it was the owners’ neighbor. It turned out the owners were a couple,” he said.
When a patrol car was passing, they approached the police and turned over the bag. They counted the money; it amounted to more than ₱812,000, Sanchi said.
Sanchi said it never occurred to him to do anything other than to turn the money in.
“The only thing in my mind at the time was to return the money, that’s all. And I was happier with the decision after I learned that the money was a collective money, like workers’ salary or something like that. If I had taken the money then I would have robbed not only one person and just the thought of that makes me cringe.”
The owners didn’t notice the bag was missing until they were contacted by Sanchi’s group. They told police the bag might have fallen out when the husband unconsciously lowered the car windows and the bag swung outward while the Mitsubishi Strada he was driving was speeding.
The police formally handed over the money to its owners in a ceremony at Camp Bado Dangwa last June 8. On June 11, the University honored Sanchi’s good deed, presenting him a certificate of commendation.