Robredo's body found


The body of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo has been located and retrieved Tuesday, August 21, ending nearly 3 days of intense search off the Masbate City coast after their plane crashed in the area Saturday, August 18.


He was 54.


"May malungkot tayong balita. At 7:25 this morning, yung volunteer divers natin nakita ang fuselage. May mga katawan sa loob pero di nila talaga maidentify. Nung nakalapit sila at about 7:45 am, may mga indications na isa doon sa mga katawan sa loob ng fuselage ay kay Sec Robredo. At that was at about 7:45 (am)," Transport Secretary Mar Roxas said in a press briefing shortly after 9 am Tuesday in Masbate City.

Matt Reed, a volunteer British technical diver, was the one who saw Robredo's body underwater, said Roxas.

TIMELINE: State funeral for Sec. Jesse Robredo:
Legion of Honor:
Public figures, officials, celebs: Tributes pour in for Sec. Jesse Robredo:
Jesse Robredo's TIMELINE:
Sec. Robredo's BLOG:
Jesse Robredo's journey back home:
OPEN LETTER: Dearest Jill Robredo:

Underwater video shows Robredo plane wreck:
Robredo delivers speech in Cebu hours before plane crash:

Meet volunteer British technical diver Matt Reed who found the body of Sec. Jesse Robredo:  
'What has Robredo done?' Villafuerte scion asks:
How Robredo wanted to help this grieving lady: Robredo's final letter to PNP:

President Benigno Aquino III, who is back in Manila, personally relayed the news to Robredo's widow Atty Leni Gerona-Robredo via a phone call at around 8:20 am, Roxas said.

Roxas said Robredo's body has been brought back to land already.

They are seeking the help of the Army and Police forensics in handling the late secretary's remains, he added.

The plane's fuselage was found 800m offshore, at a depth of 180ft, Roxas told reporters.

Meanwhile, the bodies of pilot Jesse Bahinting and co-pilot Kshitiz Chand are still being retrieved. The pilots are at the cockpit, which is at the far end of the wreck; Robredo, meanwhile, was at the cabin, so he was first recovered.

The operations have been switched now to search and retrieval, Roxas added.

Robredo, Bahinting, and Chand went missing after their Piper Seneca plane plunged into the waters off Masbate City, just a few hundred meters short of the Moises Espinosa Airport in the city.

A fourth passenger, Jun Abrasado, Robredo's aide-de-camp, survived the crash. He was rescued by local fishermen moments after the crash.

The plane, coming from Cebu's Mactan International Airport, was on its way to Naga City when it encountered engine trouble.

The plane was attempting an emergency landing when it crashed into the waters of Masbate Pass, between Masbate and Ticao islands.

The DILG chief was on his way home to Naga for the long weekend.

Jesse Manalastas Robredo was known as a visionary for his non-traditional approach in government. He is credited with transforming Naga City and reenergizing the government there.

In 1988, he won the election for mayor of Naga and became the youngest Philippine city mayor at the age of 29. Robredo went on to serve a total of 18 years as local chief executive.

Under his watch the city was recognized for the transparency of its government.

Robredo, a member of the Liberal Party, was the awarded the 2000 Ramon Magsaysay Award which honors those who are a shining example of integrity and idealism in government.

He is survived by his wife Leni and their daughters Aika, 24; Patricia, 18; and Jillian, 12.

Search and Rescue Efforts for Secretary Jesse Robredo

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