|President Benigno S. Aquino III and some members of his Cabinet accompanied the remains of the late Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo to Pili Airport, Camarines Sur on Tuesday (August 21, 2012). Photo courtesy of Benhur Arcayan/ Malacañang Photo Bureau
MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) -- President Benigno Aquino III personally brought the remains of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo to his family in Naga.
A C130 plane carrying Robredo’s remains arrived at the Naga airport a little past 12:40 p.m. on Tuesday. Robredo was given arrival honors.
People lined up the streets, holding up signs saying: “We love you Jesse.”
In his Twitter account, Transport Secretary Mar Roxas said Robredo’s family, led by wife Lenie, was already waiting at the airport. “Honors drumming slow cadence, trumpet wd mournful wail. So so tearfully sad. Ure home now Jesse.”
According to an earlier post on Malacanang’s Facebook account, the metal casket bearing the remains of Robredo was transferred to the C130 plane used by Aquino.
"The President will personally bring Sec. Robredo's remains to Naga City, to the Archbishop Palace where his family will be waiting," it said.
From Manila, Aquino arrived at the Mactan Cebu International Airport at around 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday on board the C-130. In tow are several Cabinet officials, including Roxas himself.
Roxas earlier announced that the body of Robredo was recovered at the Ticao Channel, off the coast of Masbate.
"At 8:15 a.m. kumpirmadong ang isa sa mga katawan ay kay Secretary Robredo," Roxas said.
Divers found the plane's fuselage 180 feet under water at around 7:30 a.m. Robredo's body was found inside the fuselage at 7:45 a.m. and his body was brought to the surface at 8:40 a.m.
Meanwhile, divers have also identified another body from the wreckage as retrieval operations are still ongoing for Capt. Jessup Bahinting and Nepalese Kshitiz Chand.
The government will employ remotely operated underwater vehicles to help in the retrieval and allow the divers to rest after being underwater for more than an hour.
Arrangements being made
In an interview with ANC, lawyer Irene Aguila said arrangements are being made for the wake of Robredo. Aguila is Robredo’s executive assistant.
“The viewing will start later this afternoon or early evening at the Archbishop Palace. We’ll keep you posted as to the other arrangements…To be safe, the public viewing will start this evening at the Archbishop Palace, we’ll keep you posted,” she said.
She added other details are still being finalized. Robredo’s remains may also be flown to Manila.
“I understand that’s part of the arrangements being made. As to the date, they are still not final. We should have the details perhaps by tonight,” Aguila said.
In the meantime, she asked the media and the public to allow the family to be alone with the Cabinet secretary. “We are asking that the media give them some space and some time to be alone with the secretary.” - with reports from Shiela Reyes, ABS-CBNnews.com; Jorge Carino, ABS-CBN News and Dennis Datu, dzMM