MANILA, Philippines - Where was President Benigno Aquino III when Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo's plane went down?
Malacañang could not say where the President was when he found out that the late Cabinet member's plane had gone down off the coast of Masbate.
Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda told reporters that he will have to check on the President's whereabouts last Saturday.
Nevertheless, Lacierda moved to quash speculations that Robredo's trip to Cebu last Saturday was a last-minute trip to represent the President at a local speaking engagement. He said the speculations were "malicious."
Lacierda, a member of the President’s appointments committee, stressed that the decision to have Robredo take over the speech was made in July. "I can attest to that."
Rumors swirled that Aquino was with Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Kim Henares when he found out about the incident.
Lacierda also quashed doubts about the grief of Aquino over the passing of Robredo. Lacierda stressed that while Aquino is a stoic person, he valued Robredo's friendship.
Malacañang, meantime, disclosed that Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas has asked the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines to investigate the cause of the plane crash.