The Philippine government is holding a state funeral for Secretary Jesse Robredo of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), who perished in a plane crash Saturday.
An inter-agency committee has been created to make arrangement for the state funeral as Malacanang Palace declared national days of mourning starting Tuesday until the Secretary's burial. It also ordered all government offices to fly their flags at half mast in honor of the DILG Secretary.
Secretary Jesse Robredo was on board a private airplane which took off from Cebu on its way to Naga City when the six-seater Piper Seneca aircraft he was riding developed engine trouble and crashed into the waters of Masbate City in the Bicol region Saturday afternoon.
It was reported the pilot tried to land at the Masbate airport but it reportedly overshot the runway by around 300 meters and crashed into the sea at about 4 p.m. Saturday. Read more.
Divers have found Robredo inside the ill-fated Piper Seneca six-seater aircraft at a depth of 180 feet below the surface at 7:45 a.m. Tuesday.
Retrieval operations continue as the pilots have yet to be extricated from the mangled aircraft lying underneath the deep waters of Masbate in the Philippines.
Transportation and Communication Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas broke the news in a briefing at 9:15 a.m., saying that Robredo’s body was found 800 meters from Masbate City shoreline.
In the meantime, recovery effort continues for the retrieval of the bodies of the two pilots still trapped inside the ill-fated aircraft located at a depth of 180 feet below the surface at 7:45 a.m. Tuesday.
Divers from the Navy and other foreign volunteer divers are finding it difficult to retrieve the bodies of pilot Capt. Jessup Bahinting and co-pilot Nepalese Kshitiz Chand in the underwater wreckage as they are trapped inside the cockpit of the aircraft.
Full retrieval operations will resume Wednesday morning.