Secretary Jesse Robredo, 2 Others Still Missing

It has been more than 24 hours now since the plane carrying Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo crashed off the coast of Masbate Saturday afternoon.

Divers have found today the flight plan which only confirmed that the Secretary was with his aide and the two pilots on the ill-fated six-seater Piper Seneca plane.

Chronology of Events on August 18, 2012:

  • 11:45 AM – Robredo arrived in Consolacion, Cebu to grace the ground-breaking ceremony of the new PNP Regional Training Center. He was on board Cebu Pacific flight 5J 553.
  • 2:30 PM – Robredo left Consolacion, Cebu site and proceed to Mactan-Cebu International Airport.
  • 3:00 PM – Robredo arrived at the MCIA and stayed at the VIP room.
  • Based on the information acquired from PCAS-7/DILG and MCIA Public Affairs Division, Secretary Robredo was booked on Cebu Pacific 5J572, Cebu-Manila ETD 3:50 PM. For reasons known only to Secretary Robredo, he decided to take a private plane instead of taking the commercial flight. The secretary opted to fly using one of the planes of Aviatour Air, an aviation company based in MCIA. Aviatour Air provides professional pilot training, charter, aircraft sales, and maintenance services. Secretary Robredo proceeded directly to MCIA’s General Aviations area without passing through the MCIA main terminal building.
  • 3:06 PM – The Aviatour aircraft, a twin engine Piper Seneca, with Registry No. RPC 4431, took off at MCIA with 4 persons on board: Capt. Jessup Bahinting, the pilot who is also the owner, chairman, and CEO of Aviatour Air, co-pilot Kshitiz Chand, a Nepalese national, Secretary Robredo and his aide Police Chief Inspector June Paolo Abrazado.
  • 3:30 PM – Inspector Abrazado sent a text message to Col. Ritchie Posadas, PCAS-7 chief to tell him that the six-seater plane was experiencing problem with one of the propellers and returning back to Cebu.
  • Sometime later, he requested to rebook secretary Robredo and himself for the earliest flight possible out of Mactan. The secretary and Inspector Abrazado were rebooked on Cebu Pacific 5J570, Cebu-Manila that is supposed to leave at 5:05 PM.
  • 4:20 PM – Inspector Abrazado informed PCAS-7 and DILG personnel that they are making an emergency landing at Masbate Airport. When asked if they were okay, Inspector Abrazado replied: “Okay naman.” That was the last communication received by PCAS-7 from him.
  • The last communication received by the MCIA control tower from the plane was they were 150 feet, descending, on the final approach using instrument flight rules (IFR) to Masbate Airport and they may undershoot the runway.

Authorities are still claiming they are doing search and rescue operations, but apparently with the emphasis on the call for more professional divers’ help, it’s more-like a retrieval operation. Experts were afraid that the aircraft went down as far as 200 feet to 250 feet and that’s dangerous for divers especially if without enough equipment.

Everyone should keep on praying for a happy ending, and that the Secretary with the two pilots will be recovered alive. Impossible as it may seem? Miracle happens.

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