Robredo missing as plane crashes in Masbate

MANILA, Philippines – A five-seater light plane carrying Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo crashed off Masbate City Saturday while attempting to make an emergency landing. At least one person has been rescued but there is no immediate word on Robredo’s fate.

Senior Police Officer Edmundo Viterbo of the Masbate Police Headquarters told that aside from Robredo, there were three other people on the plane – 2 pilots and Robredo’s aide identified as one Jun Abrazado.

Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse M. Robredo. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Abrazado survived with minor injuries and was now helping rescuers find Robredo and the pilots, Viterbo said.

The plane came from Mactan Airport in Cebu City and was about to make an emergency landing in Masbate Airport when it crashed off Barangay (village) Ibingay, Masbate City, Viterbo said.

The private plane was heading for Naga City, Robredo’s hometown, when the pilot sent a distress call to the Masbate Airport at around 5 p.m. requesting for an emergency landing, said lawyer Dominina Rances, executive assistant of Robredo, in a phone interview with the Inquirer Southern Luzon Bureau.

Robredo is one of the members of the Cabinet closest to President Benigno Aquino III and helped his election campaign in 2010.

By Dennis Atienza Maliwanag, Karen Boncocan

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