MANILA, Philippines (Aug 18, 2012 7:30 P.M.) - Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Manalastas Robredo was reported missing in a plane crash off Masbate City this afternoon.
Philippine National Police chief, Director General Nicanor Bartolome said Robredo, his police aide-de-camp Sr. Inspector Jun Abrazado and two pilots were aboard a private plane and was en route from Cebu City to Naga City when the incident happened at 4:30 p.m.
Bartolome said that based on the statements of Abrazado who was rescued by passing fishermen, the plane was just about 30 minutes away from Cebu City when it encountered a problem.
Bartolome said the plane’s pilots then decided to make an emergency landing at the Masbate City airport. However, it missed the runway and crashed into the waters.
“Di umabot sa runway yung plane nila. About 300 meters from the airport bumagsak sa tubig,” said Bartolome.
Abrazado confirmed that Robredo and the two pilots are still inside the plane when it crashed.
“This is still a search and rescue operation. I have ordered police divers to look for the plane. Abrazado knows exactly where the plane went down,” said Bartolome.
Bartolome said the search and rescue operation is being headed by Superintendent Jeffrey Fernandez, Masbate deputy provincial director.
Bartolome said the PNP is also calling on the Philippine Coast Guard to join the search for the downed plane. (From Philstar.com)