Jesse Robredo confirmed dead, DILG secretary dies in plane crash

Jesse Robredo, Secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), has been proclaimed dead after his lifeless body was recovered at the crash site off the coast of Masbate City.

jesse robredo dead
Teary-eyed, transportation and communications secretary Mar Roxas broke the sad news on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at the search and rescue operations command post near the crash site.

Roxas said the remains of Secretary Robredo and companions were found inside the fuselage/plane wreckage by a British volunteer technical diver at a depth of roughly 180 feet below the sea, more or less 800 meters away from the shore, at around 8:15 a.m. Tuesday.

Secretary Robredo was 54-years-old at the time of his death. He is survived by his wife, Atty. Lenny Robredo, and three children.

The DILG official, along with pilot Captain Jessup Bahinting and his co-pilot, Nepalese flight student Kshitiz Chand, were declared missing over the weekend.

The fourth passenger, Jun Abrasado, Robredo’s aide, survived the crash with minor injuries. He later joined the search and rescue operations after being given first aid.

Reports said the tragic incident happened around 4:30 pm on Saturday, August 18.

The twin-engine Piper Seneca carrying Robredo and his companions came from Mactan Airport in Cebu and was about to make an emergency landing at the Masbate Airport when it crashed into the sea about 300 meters off the coast of Masbate City.

The plane was heading for Naga City, Robredo’s hometown. The DILG secretary was reportedly rushing to go home to attend the awarding ceremony for his youngest daughter who won in a swimming contest, Naga City mayor John Bongat told ABS-CBN News.

Robredo was able to call his wife before the plane crashed in the waters of Masbate.

Reports said Robredo told his wife that the plane had encountered engine problems, but the conversation suddenly got cut-off and Mrs. Robredo was unable to contact her husband thereafter.