MANILA, Philippines -- Family and friends are keeping vigil at Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo’s house in Barangay Dayangdang in Naga City, hoping and praying that he has survived the plane crash considering he is a good swimmer.
Robredo and the two pilots of the Piper Seneca that crashed into the waters off Masbate Saturday afternoon remain missing.
In front of the Robredo’s humble home in the barangay is an image of the Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia, whom Bicolanos revere as “Ina.” The students and teachers of the Nueva Caceres University had just finished their prayer vigil on Sunday morning.
Based on his aide’s narrative, Robredo was still able to text his family in Naga before the incident, telling them they are about to go back to Cebu after experiencing engine troubles.
Robredo is well loved in Naga.
Based on his citation from the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service in 2000, “the board of trustees recognizes his giving credence to the promise of democracy by demonstrating that effective city management is compatible with yielding power to the people.”
Friends said Robredo remained humble even when he joined the Cabinet of President Benigno Aquino III.
He supposedly still rides the bus going to Naga and back to Manila to visit his family. On Saturday, he found a supposedly easier route to get to Naga to be with his family for a daughter’s ceremony.
Prayers and statements of support continue for Robredo and the pilots of the plane.
In a statement, Vice President Jejomar Binay said: “Let us pray for the family of Secretary Robredo that they may be given the strength to face this trial."