MANILA, Philippines – The remains of Capt. Jessup Bahinting, the pilot of the ill-fated Piper Seneca that carried the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, are now in Cebu to be with his family.
Bahinting's remains arrived at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport in Lapu-Lapu City after being flown from Masbate earlier this morning.
The pilot's remains were flown on board a private plane provided by a friend who owns an aviation school in the province.
Bahinting was then brought to St. Peter's Memorial Homes in Cebu City for his wake.
His family plans to bury him at the hometown of his wife, Margarita, on Monday or Tuesday next week.
Bahinting's body was recovered at around 5:15 p.m. on Wednesday after being underwater in Masbate since Saturday.
Task Force Kalihim also successfully recovered the plane wreckage in Masbate. However, Transportation and Communication Secretary Mar Roxas said the body of Nepalese co-pilot Kshitiz Chand was not found inside the plane.
Chand's body was only retrieved on Thursday morning.
Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said a fishing boat discovered the body floating near the crash site of the ill-fated Piper Seneca plane, which crashed in the sea last Saturday.The body was then brought to a Navy gunboat and brought to shore where it was identified.
Gazmin said the pilot's father identified the body. The body was reported to be wearing a white uniform with aviation pins.
Gazmin said he has not spoken to Chand's family about possible financial assistance. He said Capt. Bahinting's family is speaking to Chand's relatives. - with a report from June Perez, dzMM