The uncertainty over the fate of Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo and two others, after their white Piper Seneca plane crashed off the Masbate coast last August 18, may be taking its toll on the President Benigno S. Aquino III and his Cabinet colleagues.
As of this time, Robredo’s aide, Police Senior Inspector June Paulo Abrasado, was the only one recovered and survived the crash, and is now under medical care at the Masbate Doctors Hospital. Abrasado was found and rescued by fishermen shortly after the plane crash around 5 pm yesterday (Saturday) in the sea water of Bgy. Ibingay, Masbate City. It was apparently an effort to make an emergency landing at Masbate Airport. The four-seater plane was manned by pilot Jessup Bahinting with Nepalese flight student Kshitiz Chand.
As of 2:15PM, the paper flight plan and the wing portion of the plane are the only items recovered from the crash.
Aquino left for Masbate province early Sunday to personally supervise the search and rescue operations for the Interior and Local Government Secretary who went missing after the plane that Robredo and his companions chartered crashed off the coast of the province on Saturday afternoon.
Aqunio also wants to stay overnight in Masbate to personally oversee search operations that is now based at the Lasala Beach Resort in Masbate.
Butch Robredo, the brother of Jesse Robredo, is also coordinating with the search and rescue team in Masbate. P-Noy told Sec. Jesse Robredo’s family to believe in miracles. He assured them that the government is exerting all efforts to find all those who are missing in Saturday’s plane crash.
Task Force Kalihim Head Maj. Gen. Eduardo del Rosario said he has coordinated with PDRRMC and with local barangay officials all over Masbate City, especially those in the coastal areas.
Divers searching for the plane are probing depths of up to 87 meters, or 285 feet, and face a host of dangers from diving that deep. Transportation and Communications Secretary Mar Roxas, who has been posting updates on the fruitless search so far, says that divers are searching in waters from 131 to 285 feet, and are being advised not to stay underwater more than 10 minutes to avoid nitrogen narcosis.
U.S. and Philippine divers are doing nitrox (nitrogen,oxygen) diving today. Nitrox diving maximizes bottom time and surface intervals. The first dive was done earlier at 10-11am covering an area of 4x4km.