Robredo family bracing for the worst
NAGA CITY, Philippines (UPDATED) - The wife and children of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo are bracing themselves "for the worst" but remain hopeful that he will be found safe.
In a statement released early Monday, August 20, Atty Leni Gerona-Robredo, the Secretary's wife, said they "remain hopeful as we brace ourselves for the worst." The couple have 3 daughters: Aika, 24; Patricia, 18; and Jillian, 12.
Mrs Robredo, who is at their Naga City residence with their children, was visited Sunday, August 19, by Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman and former Solicitor General Jose Cadiz.
"[We are] overwhelmed by the unbelievable outpouring of love and prayers for Jesse and our family," her statement read.
"Thank you Sec. Dinky Soliman who stayed with me throughout the day," she said.
Robredo's daughter Aika also faced the media for the first time on Monday, August 20, in Naga City. She said they were "hopeful" but also "realistic" and trying to "manage" their "expectations."
She expressed the hope that they would get a clearer update on the search-and-rescue mission by noon.
"Gusto sana namin magpasalamat sa lahat ng dasal. Actually, very overwhelmed kami sa lahat ng dasal. Malaking tulong sa amin," Aika Robredo told reporters. (We would like to thank everyone for their prayers. We are overwhelmed. Your prayers have helped us tremendously.)
Aika was accompanied at the press conference by her cousin Gail, daughter of Butch Robredo, who is in Masbate City to monitor the search-and-rescue operations for his brother.
In her statement, Mrs Robredo also thanked President Aquino, who is in Masbate City overseeing the search and rescue efforts for Robredo and his two companions, pilot Jessup Bahinting and co-pilot Kshitiz Chand.
"Thank you also to two of Jess' closest and dearest friends in the Cabinet - Sec. Mar Roxas and Sec. Butch Abad for regularly updating us," she added. The 3 officials all belong to the ruling Liberal Party.
Robredo was on his way home to Naga City on Saturday, August 18, when the plane carrying him, his aide and two pilots, were forced to make an emergency landing at the Masbate airport.
Robredo had decided to go straight to Naga from Cebu, where he was a guest of the regional police force, to celebrate with his family the bronze medal that his youngest daughter Jillian had won in a recent international mathematics contest in Singapore. - Rappler.com
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