Philippine Secretary Jesse Robredo has been found dead Tuesday morning after two days of search and rescue operations, local media reported.
According to DOTC Secretary Mar Roxas, official spokesperson of the search, divers found Robredo inside the plane wreckage. His body had been underwater for two days. Rescue operations for the two pilots, Captain Jessup Bahinting and Nepalese flight student Kshitiz Chand, has been turned into retrieval operations.
The government official, with his aide Chief Insp. Jun Abrasado, was aboard the light plane Piper Seneca on the way to Naga City, Camarines Sur, from Cebu City. Abrasado was able to escape the plane and was rescued by fishermen. He later joined the rescue operations for Robredo and the two pilots. According to reports, the plane had engine trouble and attempted an emergency landing in Masbate. The plane crashed 200 meters from the shore.
President Benigno Aquino flew to Masbate to oversee the operations himself. Secretary Mar Roxas said they were still hopeful that Robredo was carried by the current and would still be found along with the two pilots. Search and rescue operations intensified after a part of the plane’s wing was found. The Navy also detected ‘something metallic’ on the seafloor.
Robredo served Naga City as Mayor from 1988 to 1998 and 2001 to 2010 before being appointed to Aquino’s Cabinet. He was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service in 2000.