By Karen Boncocan
MANILA, Philippines – Technical divers have found and recovered the body of Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, Transportation and Communication Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas said on Tuesday.
An emotional Roxas broke the news to reporters at a briefing, saying that Robredo’s body was found 800 meters from the shore at a depth of 180 feet at past 8 a.m.
The remains of the Department of Interior and Local Government chief has been pulled from the fuselage and brought by rubber boat to one of the Philippine Coast Guard’s vessels. It is now on its way to Naga City, Roxas said.
Recovery was difficult as the fuselage had overturned but operations continued to retrieve the bodies of the two pilots who were also found inside the Piper Seneca plane. “Nakasubsob yung dalawang piloto sa loob ng cockpit kaya si Sec. Jesse ang unang nakuha ng diver,” explained Roxas.
“Sa pamilya nina Captain [Jessup] Bahinting and the Nepalese co-pilot [flight student Kshitiz Chand], tuloy po ang recovery operations. Hindi ito para lang kay Sec. Jesse,” maintained Roxas.
President Benigno Aquino III has been told about the development and was informing the DILG chief’s wife, lawyer Leni Robredo.
Roxas asked the media and the public to give the Robredo family time to cope with what has happened. He also told them not to disrupt forensic experts who will be examining the bodies.