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Jesse Robredo

Underwater search for Robredo put on pause as current threatens divers

August 19, 2012 1:22am

Underwater search and rescue operations for Secretary Jesse Robredo were temporarily paused, according to President Benigno Aquino III’s Twitter account.
“The strong current in the 40-meter deep waters is beginning to take its toll on the physical condition of the divers, prompting Masbate Mayor Socrates Tuazon to temporarily terminate the search and rescue operations at 11:35PM until 5AM tomorrow,” read the tweet
The twin-engined Piper Seneca that was carrying Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, who was on his way home to Naga from a conference in Cebu, crashed in the sea near the coast of Masbate province Saturday afternoon. Robredo remains missing as of posting time.
Department of Transportation and Communications Secretary Mar Roxas said that though underwater operations were suspended, surface search-and-rescue efforts for Robredo will continue through the night. 
Roxas had earlier reported that the Philippine government has accepted an offer of help from the United States through its US Naval Attache Capt. Jack Sutherland. The US has a USG survey team off Cavite, which is now on its way to the crash site. 
Also, Philippine Coast Guard spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Armand Balilo said that special operations group divers from Legaspi City are on their way and should arrive in Masbate early Sunday.
"Our sarv-3504 [BRP Davao Del Norte] from Cebu will depart tonight to get there tomorrow at around 9 a.m. Another rescue boat from Bicol will also be sent to the area. Our PCG helo is on alert and may depart for Masbate early tomorrow morning," added Balilo. — DVM, GMA News
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