Philippine Interior Secretary Jesse Robrardo and two pilots disappeared Saturday when their small plane crashed into the sea while they were attempting an emergency landing.
The aircraft, a four-seat, twin-engine Piper Seneca, took off from Cebu city and was heading to Robredo’s hometown of Naga city when the pilot radioed the Masbate airport that they would be making an emergency landing, reports The Huffington Post.
Transportation Secretary Manuel Roxas II stated that the plane was not able to make it to the airport and crashed into the sea. Robredo’s aide who was aboard the plane with him was able to jump out and be rescued.
Rescue workers, fisherman, and an American naval survey team in the area assisted with the search in the waters off Masbate city, roughly 235 miles southwest of Manilla for Robredo and two pilots (a Filipino and a Nepali).
The Philippine Star notes that relatives of Jesse Robredo are still hopeful that the Interior Secretary will be found safe, and Robredo’s older brother, Butch, also expressed his thanks to the public for their outpouring of prayers for the three people missing after the plane crash. Butch added that there has been no sign of Jesse in the area the plane is believed to have gone down. He added:
“The truth is that we are all wishing but we scoured the place already with the use of a helicopter and speed boats, and we couldn’t find them.”
Butch Robredo sad that, if they do not find his brother alive, the least they can do for the family is to show them the Interior Secretary’s body, because “If we can’t have him alive, we’ll consider it a consolation if we can at least give him a proper burial.” Butch added that, while Jesse Robredo is not a competitive swimmer, he is a good swimmer, and has enough skills to swim to safety if he survived the impact of the plane crash.