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22/08/2012: President Aquino Declares National Days of Mourning to Honor DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo


22 August 2012

President Aquino Declares National Days of Mourning to Honor DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo

The Philippine Consulate General joins the Filipino nation in mourning the untimely demise of Hon. Jesse M. Robredo, Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government.

By virtue of Proclamation No. 460, s. 2012, H.E. President Benigno Simeon Aquino III yesterday declared National Days of Mourning beginning 21 August 2012 until the day of Sec. Robredo's interment.  Accordingly, and as provided for by law, the Philippine flag shall be flown at half-mast for a period of six (6) days in all government buildings and installations in the Philippines and in Philippine Embassies and Consulates abroad.

Last Saturday, 18 August 2012, it was reported that the Piper Seneca plane carrying Sec. Robredo from Cebu going to Naga City tried to make an emergency landing at the Masbate Airport but instead crashed into sea near the coast of Masbate province.  Sec. Robredo's aide, Mr. June Paolo Abrazado, was the only one who was able to make it out of the plane.  He was rescued and brought to shore by local fisherman.

President Aquino immediately flew to Masbate early Sunday morning to oversee the massive search and rescue operations conducted in the hopes of finding Sec. Robredo.  He returned to Manila on Monday after passing by Naga City to personally inform the family of Sec. Robredo about the developments in the search.

After almost three days since the incident, DOTC Secretary Mar Roxas broke the news yesterday morning that the fuselage of the plane was found 800 meters from the coast of Masbate at a depth of around 180 meters, and that, inside the wreckage, volunteer technical divers found the remains of Sec. Robredo and the plane's pilot Capt. Jessup Bahinting, as well as his Nepalese co-pilot.  Sec. Robredo's remains were then recovered and brought to the surface.

Upon learning of the recovery of Sec. Robredo's body, President Aquino skipped attending the mass in honor of the death anniversary of his father, former Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr., and again flew to Masbate to join the delegation that accompanied Sec. Robredo's remains from Masbate to Naga City.

Before becoming Secretary of the DILG, Sec. Robredo served as Mayor of Naga City for an unprecedented six three-year terms (first elected in 1988).  In 2000, he was conferred the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service.  He was also the recipient of the first ever Dangal ng Bayan Award given by the Civil Service Commission.  Sec. Robredo also has a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.END