Fact checks on public officials

FALSE: Jesse Robredo’s death due to sabotage

FALSE: Jesse Robredo’s death due to sabotage
Investigations pointed to pilot error and other safety lapses as the causes of the plane crash. Authorities said it was an accident.
At a glance
  • Claim: Former interior secretary Jesse Robredo’s death was due to sabotage.
  • Rating: FALSE
  • The facts: Investigations pointed to pilot error and other safety lapses as the causes of the plane crash. Authorities said it was an accident.
  • Why we fact-checked this: This claim has been around since Robredo’s death in 2012, and is being spread around again on his ninth death anniversary.
Complete details

Multiple Facebook users and pages falsely claim that former interior secretary Jesse Robredo’s death in 2012 was due to sabotage.

This claim has been around since then. In 2016, Facebook page “MARCOS PA RIN” shared a long post claiming that Robredo’s death was “planned” to put his wife, now Vice President Leni Robredo, in power.

This claim circulated again on social media on Robredo’s ninth death anniversary in 2021. Rappler spotted comments parroting this claim on a Facebook post commemorating Robredo’s death posted on Wednesday, August 18.

A comment linked former senator Mar Roxas to Robredo’s death.

This is false.

In November 2012, then-president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III disclosed the details of the investigation report of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) that pointed to pilot error and other safety lapses as the causes of the plane crash.

The investigation showed that if there was a fraudulent collision behind the accident, it was between charter airline firm Aviatour Air Incorporated and some CAAP officials who processed the certification of the airworthiness of the aircraft.

It was also reported that CAAP suspended the operations of Aviatour Air following the investigation.

CAAP had also ruled out foul play in the plane crash before they released the investigation report.

​​”It is established that there is no foul play. It is an accident…. Maybe it was an accident waiting to happen,” then-CAAP deputy director John Andrews said during a congressional oversight committee hearing in September 2012.

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There are also no official reports and investigations that say or prove that the plane Robredo was riding was deliberately damaged.

Jun Abrazado, Robredo’s aide-de-camp, was the lone survivor of the crash.

Abrazado said the plane came from Cebu’s Mactan International Airport and was on its way to Naga City when it encountered engine trouble. He said the pilots were opting for an emergency landing at the Masbate airport but they struggled to land. The plane then crashed a few hundred meters short of the runway.

Robredo’s body was located and retrieved off the Masbate City coast three days after the plane crashed. – Pauline Macaraeg/Rappler.com

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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