August, 21, 2012. 8:15AM. The Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Manalastas Robredo was confirmed dead. He was 54.
According Mar Roxas, Robredo's mentor, a British volunteer technical diver found the body of Robredo lifeless inside the plane wreckage, which was approximately 800m from the seashore, 180ft below sea level.
Four days ago, at 4:30PM on the 18th of August, the Piper Seneca suffered from a plane crash. The twin-engine carrying four passengers came from Mactan Airport, Cebu bound to Robredo’s hometown, Naga City. Prior to that, Robredo's daughter won in a swimming contest and the proud father wanted to go home immediately despite the unfavourable weather to attend his daughter's awarding ceremony.
Robredo's wife said that he called informing her that the plane had ran into some engine hitches. However, the call was suddenly cut and Robredo's wife was not able to contact him after that. Instead of making an emergency landing at the Masbate Airport, the plane crashed into the sea approximately 300m away from the Masbate City coast.
Robredo was declared missing along with pilot Captain Jessup Bahinting and his co-pilot, Kshitiz Chand, who is a Nepalese flight student. Robredo's fellow passenger and aide, Jun Abrasado, suffered minor injuries but fortunately was the only survivor of the plane crash. Abrasado then received first aid and immediately joined the rescue operations and the search.
The search was not easy due to the position of the plane wreckage. Jesse Robredo was found the rescue team near the fuselage's door. At around 8:30 to 8:40AM, the DILG Secretary's remains was retrieved into the surface, put in a body bag, and boarded in the Coast Guard's vessel. Captain Jessup Bahinting and Kshitiz Chand were reportedly found strapped in their seats.