Source: The Philippine Star
Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas announced that the body was spotted 800 meters from the shore and at a depth of 180 feet in waters off Masbate City.
Roxas said that the body was retrieved at 8:15 a.m. and surfaced at 8:40 a.m. by three technical divers from Malapascua in Cebu.
The three technical divers include two British nationals and a Filipina.
He said that after the “eyeball confirmation” that the recovered body was that of Robredo, President Benigno Aquino III immediately informed the late secretary’s wife, Lenie, of the recovery over the phone.
Robredo went missing after a Piper Seneca plane plunged into the waters off Masbate City on Saturday afternoon.
Roxas said that the bodies of the light plane’s pilots, Jessup Bahinting and Nepali Kshitiz Chand have also been found and retrieval operations were ongoing.
A fourth occupant of the light plane, Senior Inspector Jun Abrazado, was rescued alive hours after the plane crash.
Aquino, accompanied by a number of his cabinet officials, flew to Masbate to direct the search and rescue operations and has remained in the province from Sunday to Monday afternoon.
The President left for Manila to prepare for celebrations for the Ninoy Aquino Day today, August 21.
The 54-year-old Robredo was mayor of Naga City since 1988 before being appointed by as secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government.
Robredo is also one of the founders of the Kaya Natin Movement, which is composed of local officials and groups advocating good governance.
Sen. Teofisto Guingona III said “the country lost a bastion of good governance.”
“At Kaya Natin, we have lost a founder, our teammate, our friend. RIP Jesse,” Guingona said.
Sen. Francis Pangilinan said that he was “dumbfounded by the news.”
“We are deeply saddened by this latest news confirming that Sec. Jesse’s body has been retrieved,” Pangilinan said. “He was a longtime friend and a political ally. The nation has lost a dedicated and committed public servant.”