|Classmates, teachers visit Jillian Therese, daughter of missing Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo. Photo courtesy of Dennis Datu, dzMM
Friends assure her she's not to blame for accident
MANILA, Philippines – A friend of the Robredo family on Monday said one of the daughters of Jesse Robredo is blaming herself for the accident that has befallen the Local Government Secretary and two others.
Jun Lavadia, the family's spokesperson, admitted that Robredo's youngest daughter, Jillian Therese, is blaming herself since it was because of her that Robredo rushed to come home.
Robredo’s plane came from Mactan, Cebu and was headed to Naga City when it encountered trouble and plunged into the waters off Masbate Saturday afternoon.
He boarded a private plane so he could attend an afternoon awarding ceremony for Jillian Therese who won a swimming competition in the Palarong Panlungsod.
"Lumabas na parang masi-single out daw siya kaya iyun ang sinasabi ni Jillian. Na-explain ko sa kanya at naintindihan na niya…Naipaliwanag na sa kanya na 'hindi ka naman [ang sinisisi] kasi marami talagang activity na gagawin ang secretary dito sa lunsod ng Naga,'" Lavadia told dzMM.
Lavadia said Jillian Therese, a first-year high school student, has been crying almost every hour since news of the accident involving her father broke.
He said Robredo's daughters love their father so much.
"Si Sec. Robredo, hands on na papa 'yun. Ibig sabihin nagtu-tutor sa anak niya, kay Aika, [Patricia], and kay Jillian. Kahit na naging [DILG] secretary na si Sec. Robredo, may panahon pa siya na mag-tutor sa kanyang mga anak," he said.
Jillian Therese also became emotional when some of her classmates and teachers visited her.
Hopeful yet 'realistic'
In a separate interview, Aika Robredo, eldest daughter of Robredo, said her family is being hopeful but "realistic" at this point. Search and rescue operations, which have entered the third day today, are still not yielding any significant results.
"Hopeful pa din pero lahat kasi kami, siyempre mahirap na umasa ka ng umasa, so may management of expectations din kami, pero sa ngayon, tuloy pa din ang dasal," Aika told reporters in front of their house in Naga City.
"Kaming apat (mother Maria Leonor Gerona-Robredo and siblings Patricia and Jillian Therese), pare-pareho kami ng nararamdaman ngayon na umaasa pa din, pero realistic, kasi pangatlong araw na nawawala siya, sana by lunch time may definite kaming balita," she added.
Aika also thanked those who have been giving continuous support for the family in these trying times.
"Kahit malungkot kami ngayon, kasi mahirap mag-antay, nakakatulong na ang iba ay nakikita namin na ganoon ang sentiments. Nakakagaan siya ng loob," she said.
Aika also thanked President Aquino for overseeing the rescue operations in Masbate and the Cabinet officials as well, especially Social Welfare and Development Secretary Dinky Soliman, who has been with the family since yesterday.
President Aquino flew to Naga City on Monday afternoon to meet with Robredo's family before he returned to Manila for the Ninoy Aquino Day activities tomorrow.