MASBATE CITY (19-Aug-12/PNA) – President Benigno S. Aquino III has ordered military, police and other concerned government agencies to intensify the search-and-rescue (SAR) operations for Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo and two others who went missing after their Piper Seneca plane that was supposed to bring them to Naga City from Cebu City crashed off the coast of Masbate City on Saturday.
In a press conference at the Command Center set up at the La Villa Beach Resort in Masbate City on Sunday, Transportation and Communications Secretary Manuel Roxas II said the President remains focused and intent at finding Robredo and his companions.
Authorities said at least 25 sea vessels from the Philippine Coast Guard, Navy, Philippine National Police, and from the local governments are involved in the search- and-rescue operations which resumed early Sunday morning.
The Philippine Air Force has brought in five helicopters, including its most modern assets, three Sokol and 2UH1H, in the search-and-rescue efforts while the United States government has also joined the SAR efforts by fielding a U.S. Fleet Survey team based in Cavite.
Meanwhile, Roxas has requested Filipinos to pray for the safety of Robredo and his two companions who have been identified as pilot Capt. Jessup Bahinting and co-pilot Kshitiz Chand, a Nepalese. (PNA)