Search for Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo after plane crash continues

As of this writing the search continues for Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo who remains missing along with two pilots after the Piper Seneca plane they were on crashed somewhere in Masbate Bay on Saturday, the 18th of August. A large search and rescue effort is currently underway involving the Philippine Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard, Army, and Police. The United States has reportedly also sent a rescue team.

[Photo courtesy]

No less than Philippine President Benigno Aquino III who, aside from being Robredo’s boss, is also a close friend is on site overseeing the operations. Some have criticised the scale of the operation and the attention given to it by the President himself. But it is unlikely that anyone who would have found himself in the President’s shoes under circumstances such as this would have done otherwise. My colleague Ben Kritz in an earlier comment made this point quite well…

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We constantly criticize him for not giving a shit in a crisis, it’s fair to acknowledge his getting off his duff for a change. Sec. Robredo was a member of his Cabinet, and so the news reports say, a friend of N/A — if I were in his shoes, I would go. We had the same thing happen when Ron Brown was killed in a plane crash in the Balkans; [then US President] Bill Clinton showed up in person, and everyone thought it was right and appropriate.

In the case of the death of John F Kennedy Jr along with two passengers — his wife and her sister — in a 1999 plane crash, the search and recovery operation took five days over a 9,000-square-mile area. The plane Kennedy piloted was a Piper Saratoga II. The wreckage and bodies were eventually located under difficult conditions: “visibility was less than eight feet, the current was strong and the ocean floor was littered with rocks and boulders.” Nonetheless…

The three bodies were found at 116 feet, about seven miles southwest of Martha’s Vineyard. At a news conference tonight at the investigation’s command center in Bourne, Rear Adm. Richard M. Larrabee of the Coast Guard said that all three victims were ”near and under” the fuselage, still strapped in.

The amount of resources poured into the search and recovery effort was also criticised at the time although then President Bill Clinton owned up to it…

President Clinton, who has talked continually with Kennedy family members since the plane was reported missing, said he had authorized a continuation of the unusually long search, which has been criticized as excessive for three private citizens.

“Because of the role of the Kennedy family in our national lives and because of the enormous losses that they have sustained in our lifetimes, I thought it was appropriate to give them a few more days,” Mr. Clinton said this afternoon during a news conference on other topics.

“If anyone believes that was wrong, the Coast Guard is not at fault — I am,” Mr. Clinton said. “It was because I thought it was the right thing to do under the circumstances.”

For now, Secretary Robredo is somebody’s son, somebody’s father, somebody’s husband, and somebody’s friend. That one of his friends happens to be the Commander and Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines — plus the fact that he is a Cabinet Secretary — should make the greater-than-normal effort being applied to his rescue more the appropriate thing to be seeing at this time.

46 Replies to “Search for Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo after plane crash continues”

  1. If we analyze president BS Aquino’s actions which are excessively in favor of his KKK friend then we can only form one conclusion… That his friend and political ally has more clout and gets more state focus and assistance than his Bosses he describes as the sovereign Filipino people.

    We have seen his reactions many times before during crisis situations and disasters in the Philippines. Observed double standards will not make him popular nor change keen public perception. He obviously takes care of his KKK friends and their welfare is above and beyond the boss known as the sovereign people. Only in the Philippines!

    1. This is not a trial, mein Fuhrer. No need to sling mud all over the President for his admittedly unpresidential conduct as of late — he is a bosom buddy of the Secretary, he is worried, he might be in despair, and you can’t easily… keep all the emotion locked up tight inside of you.

      In other words, grief is a normal human emotion. Stand down for this moment.

      1. @Suibon

        Why should I stand down? The real truth is there in past crisis and disasters. Remember BS Aquino Christmas partying with the PSG while the people of Mindanao were being swept to their deaths and drowned?

        Remember the late reaction of the president in other disasters like the recent floodings? Remember the Luneta Hostage Crisis?

        My point is that BS Aquino reacts fastest for his political friends and allies. His reaction time for secretary Robredo was phenomenal! While we his bosses the sovereign people are made to wait for relief and rescue.

        Oh yeah he was smiling when he was distributing relief in Mindanao. He was also seen smiling while directing SAR operations in Masbate. Deal with my righteous indignation! This is a free democracy not a monocracy!

  2. Dear President & Sec.

    Please take care
    and pray.. Avoid unnecessary or
    risky travel. Our country needs you.
    the country is in the process of
    recovery from the corrupt Arroyo administration and our
    march towards success
    and prosperity due to
    your honest and righteous governance. May God keep you all
    safe and sound. My thoughts and
    prayers are with you
    and the family of Sec.
    Robredo. Expect a miracle in your
    SaR operation.

    1. Dear fishball,

      Even your hastily constructed prayer is flawed. You only mentioned the president and Mar Roxas. What about all the others taking part in the recovery operation? What about all officials who serve the people?

      You say avoid unnecessary and risky travel. Taking risks in the service of the country and the people comes with the job.

      What honest and righteous governance are you talking about? If you think this administration has no more corruption then you are living beyond reality. Your hypocrisy and double standards shows.

    2. I hope AbNoy stays alive at least until the end of his term so that people would continue to see how terrible he is. I also would want him to live past his term to answer all the abuses he has done while in power.


    3. The prayer above is not really a prayer for prayer’s sake. It is a ‘prayer’ meant to sting and annoy the anti-Noynoy on this blog. So far, fishball’s bait has been effective.

      On my part, I’d rather pray for all Filipinos in general. That they may find peace and happiness in the future . That the economy will improve for the betterment of the majority. That the political climate would change for the better. That the country should experience less natural disaster so that the recovery process will continue unhampered. That all our leaders will help not only in national recovery but also national unity.

      Lastly, we should all make an effort to seriously move on at every debacle we encounter in life.

  3. Although Robredo may be important, don’t forget there were others with him. The pilot of the plane, Jessup Bahinting, is a pastor in the church I attend, Grace Communion International (the former Worldwide Church of God). Let’s hope all of them and not Robredo only be found.

    And there are these rumors I’m getting that the crash was another one of those planned rubouts. Reminds me of that helicopter crash of someone from Catanduanes, just before the 2010 elections.

    1. Robredo is one of the better cabinet members of this administration. Now he dies like Magsaysay.

      I’m also curious how the plane crash investigation would turn out.

  4. Enrile says Sec Robredo should not have flown in a light plane late in the day and over water. Is he an aviation expert? The Piper Seneca is one of the most airworthy planes in the world. And where is the danger of flying over water in the light of the afternoon sun? The crash was an accident, pure and simple. Why blame Robredo for moving about to do his job?

    1. Right. Planes sometimes do crash, despite everyone’s best efforts. It bothers me that everyone speculates so wildly (and by the same token, fails to acknowledge the reality that anyone not present and accounted for has been dead for a couple days), but that’s human nature. For my part, this is one issue I think it’s best to let go after offering condolences, and let everyone deal with it however they feel they need to.

  5. “If anyone believes that was wrong, the Coast Guard is not at fault — I am,” Mr. Clinton said. “It was because I thought it was the right thing to do under the circumstances.”

    The question is, is Noynoy capable of saying a similar thing? “I am at fault.” Historically he always shifts the blame to something or someone else.

    1. Senator Sotto has just said that Jesse Robredo is ACTING secretary. Jesse Robredo has not been confirmed yet (and article : Senator Sotto says slow paperwork is Malakanyang’s fault)

  6. I think the attention given by the media and the presidency to the accident is way over the top. Sure, the U.S. had dealt with similar tragedies the same way, but no U.S. president had stayed overnight, two days at the scene, leaving more urgent matters of governance waiting and the government did not freeze, like not all cabinet members of the president were involved in prayer vigils, visiting family members with media coverage, this whole thing is turning into a circus, all because of the president’s physical presence at the rescue, or should I say retrieval operations. This is turning into a sick display of exploiting Filipino people’s emotionalism. It is not helpful to the family nor to the nation as a whole which might be hit by another Ondoy during the rainy season. A cabinet member with presidential ambitions is constantly in the media limelight briefing reporters of what he has been telling the president. It is now drawing attention to themselves rather than to the tragedy which is really more painful for the family members.

  7. President Bill Clinton did NOT visit the crash site in Croatia until long after the incident. However, he DID lead a Memorial Ceremony at Dover AFB when the victims remains returned.

  8. It is fate that led the DILG Secretary to that incident. Although it’s already hard to think about his survival considering the depth of the crash site. Noynoy should as well show some concern for him and his family but in not in the sense that government works are already interrupted. Anyway corruption they say, is uninterruptible.

  9. One of the best and most balanced take on one of the most current issues hogging the headlines today coming from GRP, authored by benigno at that.

    Truly, there really are wealths of wisdom to learn from highly opinionated bloggers who can from time to time transcend their occasional off-putting prejudices.

  10. Dear God,

    We are willing to sacrifice Gloria Arroyo, Mike Arroyo, Mikey Arroyo, Renato Corona, Cristina Corona and Ampatuans just bring back Sec Jesse Robredo.

    1. Dear God,

      fishball’s request is his own. He doesn’t speak for the whole Filipino people. Knowing you, You already know that.

    2. Speak for yourself, fishball, you birdbrain. We’d rather sacrifice a few thousand noytards like you, but it still won’t be enough.

    3. @fishbola

      Wag ka naman magagalit, pero ganon talaga ang malayo sa Diyos, hindi napakikinggan at nasasangayunan ang mga panalangin. Your prayers are not granted!


  11. The bad news: Fishball is annoying, brainwashed, pathetic cringing little milk sop.

    The good news: She is the best that the Minister of Truth Carandang has.

  12. Welll. political infighting is nothing new in our side of the woods. It’s normal, so to speak. And in the case of Robredo, it is expected to happen. But infighting would only be a deadly game if everybody has a shot to the position. If the people involved in rhe infighting are all close to the appointing power, it’s not infighting anymore, it’s called distribution of the spoil.

  13. RIP Sec. Robredo, the fact that he played a significant role in the development of naga, he made the transformation and choose to do the right thing despite the conflicting interests between the different factions of the current administration. May he find peace in God’s hands.

  14. Is it true that the late secretary Jesse Robredo will be given a state funeral? I am less knowledgeable in certain aspects but I did some research.

    Wikipedia says that: “A state funeral is a public funeral ceremony, observing the strict rules of protocol, held to honor HEADS OF STATE or other important PEOPLE OF NATIONAL SIGNIFICANCE.”

    My question is directed to president BS Aquino. Is the late secretary Jesse Robredo classified as a head of state or people of national significance under Philippine Law? I may be wrong but I think BS Aquino may be overreacting in granting such an honor because of his personal friendship to a KKK political friend and ally. Check your laws on this please.

    1. Please, cut the quibbling and respect whatever formal rites would be accorded to the late secretary.

      What happened was an unfortunate and sad event for the country. Let us exercise circumspection and deference and appreciate the moment in a serious and responsible manner. Let us avoid making it as a point of contention, denunciation and argument.

      1. @jona-s

        The last time I heard this was a free democracy where one can question, probe and express views. Why don’t you you put your scolding in proper perspective?

        The late secretary Robredo is not a head of state or a person of national significance. Is he a national artist, scientist, hero or great national leader? I say he does not deserve a state funeral. This is my final word on this.

        1. Whatever bro, this is not the time for nitpicking.

          Reserve your question later for it ‘s not relevant at the moment. Do not drag democracy here because, like you, I’m also expressing my views on the matter. Nobody’s preventing you to express yourself. You are just being reminded that there’s nothing wrong to be sensitive and respectful in times like this. There’s time for everything.

        2. @jona-s

          Your fallacy shows. What sensitive and respectful are you talking about? You will not muzzle me boy. Are you a member of the nutzie master yellow race? 🙂

        3. “What sensitive and respectful are you talking about? You will not muzzle me boy. Are you a member of the nutzie master yellow race?” – Der Fuhrer

          I’m sorry man, I just thought that what you are saying is out of line for it’s time for all Filipinos to grief because of the unfortunate event that happened to Sec. Robredo and the others that resulted in their death.

          If you still see the color of politics in situations like this, I suggest you keep ahold of your self for hatred may have taken over your heart.

          On the other hand, maybe you are not called ‘Der Fuhrer’ for nothing. If so, keep going and don’t mind me.

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