MANILA, Philippines – Two overseas Filipino workers in Dubai received praises after returning a bag left by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV at a coffee shop last Monday, Gulf News reported.
Gulf News reported that Trillanes, who was on a four-day holiday in Dubai with his wife, left his sling bag at the Second Cup café, located at the Mall of the Emirates.
The bag contained important travel documents and some valuables such as mobile phones and cash.
The report said Arnel Merto and Julman Chavez, both supervisor-trainees at the coffee shop, found the bag. Merto, 29, said he tried to chase the Trillanes couple but was not able to find them.
They just decided to report the incident on the café's logbook.
The couple, however, returned some 15 minutes after they left the shop. It was then that 30-year-old Chavez, who had earlier served the couple's coffee, returned the bag.
Chavez did not know that the owner of the bag was Trillanes, a former military man in the Philippines who had led coup attempts against the highly unpopular administration of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
"The customer didn't introduce himself then. He just signed the logbook," Chavez told Gulf News.
Due to their honesty, Merto and Chavez each received an appreciation letter and a reward of Dh1,000 and US$200 from Trillanes.
"The following morning, somebody called us to say that we have an award today. It's a great honor for me to be awarded," Chavez said.
"I'm very happy as it is my first time to find an item and first time to be recognized and appreciated by a senator," Merto said.
Meanwhile, George Kunnappally, Franchise Operations and Development General Manager of Bin Hendi Group, said reporting any lost and found items at the coffee shop is part of the contract, training and standard operating procedure.
Homer Barrios, the coffee shop's operations and training manager, said Chavez and Merto "are two of my reliable staff here in Second Cup. They are persons of integrity. They come on time, they’re hard-working, dedicated to the job. Even before this, they were already training to become supervisors. They started as a barista. It just proves that we made the right decision.
The same news item also reported that another Filipino, named Gina Hupa, was recognized for returning an envelope she found containing Dh29,000.
Hupa was a volunteer ward at the labor office in Al Ghusai.