Honest taxi driver returns dollar bills left by his passenger
POLITICIANS can learn the virtue of honesty from this taxi driver.
Despite the financial hardship brought by the pandemic, a taxi driver in Dagupan City proved honesty lives in unassuming persons. He returned 56 pieces of US$100 bills left by his passenger inside his taxi on May 19.
Rolly Callejo Sr, 51, from Barangay Malued, taxi driver of BTSI, said in a phone interview that he initially thought the crisp dollar bills placed in an envelope left on the passenger seat behind him was “mere play money”.
“I don’t know what real US dollars look like as I only saw before old dollars,” he said.
He took a selfie picture of himself holding the money (more than P260,000 equivalent at the current dollar-peso exchange rate ) and sent it to his fellow driver who also thought it was another funny joke.
He placed the envelope at the car’s compartment but the thought that these could be genuine bills so he knew he had to return it to the owner. He decided to return to the place in Bonuan where he dropped off the passenger who left the envelope.
When Callejo arrived in front of his passenger’s house, he saw her looking worried and apparently searching for something she might have lost in the area.
The passenger did not recognize him when he approached her as he began asking her questions to validate his thoughts. Satisfied with her answers he told her to look at the envelope inside the taxi if it was what she was looking for.
The woman, described by Callejo as elderly, was overjoyed on seeing the envelope and its contents. She rode his taxi without going through the “booking system” as he only picked her up somewhere in the downtown area.
“We could have easily identified her if it was through booking system, or she could easily locate me using that system,” he said.
When he gave her the envelope, the woman cried, he said. Without prodding for a reward, she gave him cash as an “ayuda” with which to buy rice and grocery items for his family as a token of her gratitude.
He said despite financial hardship, he thought of owning something he did not work hard for.
“That’s just money. I would really return it because it’s not mine,” he said.
Callejo has four children, his youngest still in high school, while his wife is a housekeeper.
He said it was not his first time to return valuables left by his passenger from the time he worked as driver. He likes the feeling of seeing passengers happy when they see their lost stuff returned to them.
Meanwhile, Callejos’ son, JhayR, 28, said he is very happy and proud of his dad, adding that poverty is never an excuse to take advantage of another person. (Eva Visperas)
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