Meet NAIA's honest janitor

Posted at Sep 06 2012 11:39 AM | Updated as of Mar 01 2017 03:26 PM

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MANILA, Philippines - An airport janitor who returned over P600,000 in cash left behind at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport said he still feels overwhelmed by all the attention he has received over his act of honesty.

"Sa mga kasamahan ko, sa mga hindi ko kilala, sa LRT o sa jeep, kinakamayan ako. Hindi ko ine-expect na ganun ang magiging ano sa akin ng mga tao. Sinasabi nila hanga sila sa akin. Nagpapasalamat naman ako sa kanila," janitor and glass cleaner Ronald Gadayan said in an interview ABS-CBN's "Umagang Kay Ganda."

Gadayan said he decided to return the money, totaling P634,896 (about US$15,127), plus jewelry because he did not own it. He said it was not the first time that he returned things left behind at the airport.

"Maliit o malaking halaga siya, basta hindi ko pag-aari, kailangan kong isoli sa tao po yun. Pera, cellphone, alahas naibalik ko sa pasahero," he said.

He said that although he has 3 kids, he was not tempted to take the money because that is how he was taught by his parents.

Gadayan said he earns only P446 a day. He said he spends about P200 a day for transportation and a little more for food, which he shares meals with his co-workers at the NAIA.

He also said his wife was alarmed when mediamen wanted to interview him because she thought he did something wrong. Gadayan's wife and 3 kids also made an appearance in the show.

Gadayan said he is set to meet with businessman Francis Chua, who is the owner of the money. He added, however, that he is not looking for a reward since he was only doing his job.