PNoy to fly to Masbate crash site Sunday

Posted at 08/19/2012 12:12 AM

MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno “PNoy” Aquino III will be flying to Masbate early Sunday morning to oversee the search and rescue efforts for Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo.

Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas told dzMM on Saturday that he will be joining the President when he goes to Masbate City at day break.

“Lilipad kami bukas patungo doon. ‘yung unang sked ng [Philippine] Air Force sa kanya mga 9 a.m... pero sabi niya at first light, pagbukang liwanag pupunta na,” Roxas said.

He said Aquino has constantly been monitoring the developments of the search and rescue operations since news of the plane crash broke out.

“Mino-monitor niya ito every hour,” said Roxas.

Robredo, his aide Capt. Jun Abrazado, pilot Capt. Jessup Bahinting, and Nepalese co-pilot Kshitiz Chand, were on board a five-seater Piper Ceneca aircraft when it crashed at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.

So far, only Abrazado has been rescued from the crash site.

Roxas said the surface rescue has been ongoing, although the diving operations have been on and off due to lack of equipment.

“’Yung sa pagsisid, on and off... hindi pwedeng masyadong tumagal sa pagsisid 'yung mga scuba [divers] na ito. May mga equipment na darating bukas pa para tumagal [sila sa pagsisid],” he said.

“Normally sa scuba at 120 feet, you can only stay at 10 minutes.”

Roxas added that they need daylight so they can resume the aerial operations.

“Mas maraming masasakop na area kung galing himpapawid kumpara sa nakalutang ka lang sa surface,” he said.