The online news portal of TV5
President Benigno Aquino III arrived in Masbate early Sunday to personally oversee search and rescue efforts for Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, who remains missing with two other pilots after a private plane ferrying him crashed into Masbate Bay Saturday afternoon.
DoTC Secretary Mar Roxas, who was with Aquino, said the President arrived with PNP chief Nicanor Bartolome, Army chief Gen. Jessie Dellosa, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Coast Guard Commandant Vice Admiral Edmund Tan.
"At location, crash site within sight of the beach, 500 meters, also within sight of end of runway. Waters calm, sky clear which will help in ongoing search and rescue," Roxas tweeted.
Search efforts for Robredo continued on throughout the night, Malacanang said.
"Throughout the night, search and rescue operations for Secretary Jesse Robredo and party continued. More assets are being deployed this morning to intensify the search. In the meantime, the President, along with Secretaries Roxas, Abad, Gazmin, and Representative Abaya flew to Masbate at 5:45 a.m. to personally observe the search and rescue effort. We will be issuing more updates as they become available," a statement from presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said a command post has been established at the Lasala Beach Resort.
Additional boats, divers and equipment are expected to arrive from Coast Guard units in Legaspi, Matnog, and Bulane early Sunday. Navy gunboats are also expected to arrive to aid in search and rescue efforts.
The Piper Seneca plane carrying Robredo crashed while attempting to make an emergency landing at the Masbate Airport on Saturday afternoon. Robredo came from Cebu and was en route to Naga City.