UPDATED August 21, 2012 as of 10:30 AM – The bodies of Sec. Robredo and the pilots have been found and were retrieved off Masbate around 8:30 AM this morning. The country has lost a very good leader and mourns the loss of the DILG secretary. Salamat po sa inyong matapat na serbisyo, Sec. Jesse.
UPDATED: August 18, 2012 as of 9:15 PM – Still no news on Sec. Robredo and missing pilots. Malacañan appeals to public to refrain from speculating.
UPDATED: August 18, 2012 as of 8:10 PM – There are UNCONFIRMED reports that the secretary is alive, rescued by a fisherman. The nation is hopeful the reports are true.
A 5-seater private plane carrying Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo crashed within 1 km away from Masbate Coastline Saturday afternoon, according to Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines.
One survivor was rescued from the area, identified as Jun Abrazado, a reported aide of Robredo. The rest of the passengers include 2 pilots, said Senior Police Officer Edmundo Viterbo of the Masbate Police Headquarters. Abrazado, having minor injuries, was already helping rescuers in finding Robredo and the pilots.
Search and rescue operations are still ongoing and no casualties found as of the moment, said area reports.
The private plane was supposed to head for Naga City, Robredo’s hometown.
The country is in high hopes with sincerest prayers that DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo, as well as the rest of the passengers have survived.