#MasbateCrash: Last body found, widow breaks silence
MANILA, Philippines - After five days of hard work, the search and rescue operations in Masbate concluded with the retrieval of the last missing pilot, while the wife of late DILG Secretary Josse Robredo faced the media for the first time.
Last body recovered
After the bodies of Robredo and Captain Jessup Bahinting were brought up to the surface on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, the last missing person inside the ill-fated Piper Seneca plane was student-pilot Kshitiz Chand.
The floating corpse of Nepalese citizen Kshitiz Chand was found at 7.00 am by a passenger banca plying Masbate on the way to Ticao, Philippine Coast Guard Commandant Vice Admiral Edmund Tan said on Thursday, August 23.
Vice Admiral Tan confirmed the recovery on board a flight back to Manila from Masbate and after the family of the Nepali citizen identified the remains.
Most of the wreckage was also successfully lifted the previous evening.
This concludes Task Force Kalihim, which was formed after a plane carrying the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo and two pilots crashed off Masbate on Saturday.
However, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) still wants to bring up the engine of the sunken aircraft for its investigation into the cause of the accident, but the logistics will be a problem now that the search and rescue operations have been formally terminated.
Widow speaks to the media
Atty. Leni Robredo, the widow of the deceased Interior and Local Government Secretary, had kept silent since her husband went missing.
She finally faced the media on Thursday.
In a room full of reporters at the Archbishop's Palace, Leni Robredo said she did not question his early death because she knew he was ready, and that he had told her repeatedly that his accomplishments had exceeded his hopes.
The widow also shared that she talked to Robredo several times on Saturday before the crash.
He said the plane was experiencing engine trouble and promised he would call back, and that was the last time they spoke.
Leni Robredo revealed as well that her in-laws have yet to find out the fate of their son, but now that Robredo's sister Joceyln is back from the US, she will tell them everything.
She shared the details of her last conversation with the man who will be honored with a state funeral on Friday in Manila.
Investigation will be 'exhaustive'
A day after the CAAP decided to ground all aircraft of AviaTour Air pending the result of the investigation of the crash, Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas promised that the government will conduct a "comprehensive" and "exhaustive" investigation to determined what caused the crash.
AviaTour Air was owned by Bahinting, who perished in the accident along with Robredo and his Nepali student and copilot.
“This will be comprehensive and exhaustive but this is not analysis by paralysis. We will find out what happened to strengthen the safety regulations,” Roxas told reporters. - Rappler.com, with reports from Ayee Macaraig in Masbate and Natashya Gutierrez in Naga
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