Maguindanao massacre kin pray for Robredo

By Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 20 2012 03:59 PM | Updated as of Aug 21 2012 04:41 AM

MANILA (UPDATED) - The kin of Maguindanao massacre victims are one in prayer with the rest of the country for the safe rescue of Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Sec. Jesse Robredo and his two companions following their plane crash off Masbate on Saturday.

"The families of the Maguindanao Massacre victims are praying that Secretary Jesse Robredo, and the pilots, will be found safe soon. The DILG is an important component of the widows' continuing fight for justice," relatives of 17 journalist victims said in a joint statement.

Atty. Harry Roque, who represents the journalists' kin in the Maguindanao massacre trial, told ABS-CBN News about their apprehensions in the wake of Robredo's plane mishap.

He stressed that the DILG has a major role in the continuing hunt for 100 accused still at-large, and in ongoing administrative proceedings against 62 policemen implicated in the brutal massacre of  57 people on Nov. 23, 2009 in Ampatuan town.

"Crucial ang role ng DILG sa Maguindanao massacre case. Marami kaming inaasahan sa DILG and that's why we hope he (Robredo) is safe," Roque said.

A Piper Seneca plane ferrying Robredo and 3 others crashed off Masbate as it fell short of the Masbate air strip.

Only one survivor has been accounted for, so far, as a massive search and rescue operation continues.