Robredo daughter hopeful yet 'realistic'

By Dharel Placido,

Posted at Aug 20 2012 10:50 AM | Updated as of Aug 20 2012 10:15 PM

MANILA, Philippines – The daughter of missing Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo remains hopeful that he will return safely to them, and yet they understand there are realities to face.

Aika Robredo, eldest daughter of Robredo, said her family is being "realistic" at this point when 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.

She revealed that she last talked to her father on Friday, a day before the incident. Her father was on his way to Naga to celebrate the win of Jillian in a swimming competition.

Aika, however, declined to give the details of their conversation.

Transportation and Communications Secretary Mar Roxas said rescuers are expected to dive some 250 to 300-feet deep of water today.

The rescuers have already secured the trimix, a breathing gas that will aid rescuers in diving deeper.

Meanwhile, the task force "Kalihim" had just finished its briefing at around 10 a.m. Roxas expects the deep water search to resume before lunch time.

Authorities are also looking for the plane’s pilot Capt. Jessup Bahinting and Nepalese co-pilot Kshitiz Chand.

Robredo's aide, Jun Abrazado, was rescued by a fisherman after the crash.