Monday, August 20, 2012

Body of missing Philippines minister found

Robredo, DILG, Robredo's body, Philippines

Robredo, DILG, Robredo's body, Philippines

Robredo, DILG, Robredo's body, Philippines
 Technical divers with President Noynoy

Divers have found the body of the country's Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo.

Mr Robredo had been missing since his small plane crashed into the sea off central Masbate province on Saturday.

Officials say divers have recoverd Mr Robredo's body from the sea.

The minister's aide survived the crash, but the search for the plane's two pilots is continuing.

Secretary Robredo was both a political ally and a close friend of President Benigno Aquino, who has been watching over the search operations.

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.

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.

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.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Plane with Philippine interior secretary crashes

Philippine interior secretary crashes, Jesse Robredo, Plane crash, crashed, dead

MANILA, Philippines — A Cessna light plane carrying Philippine Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo crashed into the sea Saturday while attempting an emergency landing. One person his aide Supt. Abrazado was rescued but Robredo and the two pilots were missing, officials said.

Transportation Secretary Manuel Roxas II told DZBB radio that the Cessna 172 plane took off from central Cebu city and was heading to Robredo's hometown of Naga city in Camarines Sur province when the pilot informed the Masbate airport that it would make an emergency landing. The plane was unable to reach the airport and crashed into the sea.

He said an aide of Robredo was able to jump out and was rescued.

Robredo is one of the members of the Cabinet closest to President Benigno Aquino III and helped his election campaign in 2010.

The interior secretary is in charge of the Philippine National Police and local government units.

Interior Undersecretary Rico Puno said he and Robredo attended a gathering of civilian volunteers assisting in police work in Cebu. After the event, the secretary took the plane for Naga, he said.

"Later, we got a call from the aide that their plane had developed engine trouble and they needed help," Puno said.

The coast guard said the plane crashed about 1.8 kilometers (1.2 miles) from the shore close to Masbate airport.

Rescue workers were searching the waters off Masbate city, about 380 kilometers (235 miles) southwest of Manila, for Robredo and the two pilots but had to halt the underwater search because of darkness, Puno said.

Cessna 172

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Manila flood

Manila flood, Philippines, flood, Metro Manila, Philippine flooding, Marikina, Provident village, san juan
Waist deep flood, rescue workers help a woman cross a flooded street in Manila on Aug. 7

Manila flood, Marikina flood, provident village, philippines flood
Marikina, a man gathers his dogs on the roof of his flooded house as rain continues to fall in the Philippine capital.

provident village flood, Marikin Flood
Rescue volunteers carry to safety a resident of Provident village in Marikina City, Marikina river overflows in the village.
Manila flood, san juan, boat
A small boat carries people across a flooded street in San Juan, east of Manila, on Aug. 8. Widespread flooding has paralyzed the Philippine capital.

Last week the entire districts of Manila was submerged after the capital received more than a month's worth of rain in 48 hours.

It's estimated 80 per cent of the city were underwater. The death toll from last week's rain in Manila and nearby provinces has risen to more than 25, bringing the confirmed number of people killed across the country since a typhoon triggered heavy rains in late July to over 73.

As overflowing rivers begin to recede, civil defence chief Benito Ramos says the top priority is to help the 1.95 million people affected by the floods, including 300,000 who are sheltering in evacuation centres.

Australia offers assistance

Australia is giving $AU2 million in aid to help flood victims in Manila.

Foreign Minister Bob Carr says many people are desperate for food and shelter.

In the riverside district of Marikina, where massive squatter communities were inundated, some residents returned to their homes on Wednesday night only for another deluge to hit a few hours later and cause another flood spike.