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Aviation authorities to investigate Saturday’s plane crash that killed DILG Secretary Robredo, Palace says

Aviation authorities will soon start investigating the cause of the plane crash that killed Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo and the two pilots once all the important parts of the aircraft are recovered, the Palace said on Wednesday.

In a regular press briefing in Malacanang, Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said Transportation and Communication Secretary Mar Roxas ordered the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) to look into the incident after the plane went down on Saturday afternoon.

“It was not known to the public but Secretary Roxas already ordered CAAP to look into it. But since there were no wreckage found, then hinintay nila,” Lacierda said.

“The first wreckage found was the wing. So now that marami na, dahan-dahang nakukuha ang wreckage, si General [William] Hotchkiss of CAAP will be heading the investigation or at least his team will be conducting an investigation,” he added.

Lacierda said they will inform the public once the investigation begins which is aimed at determining the cause of the accident.

Divers were able to recover the body of Robredo Tuesday morning and retrieval operations are continuing to get the remains of the two pilots. Robredo’s body is now in Naga City and arrangements are being made to transport it to Manila late this week.

Robredo and the two pilots died when the twin-engine, four-seater Piper Seneca plane carrying them en route to Naga City from Cebu City crashed off Masbate after encountering engine failure.

Residents of Naga City are mourning over Robredo’s death. Robredo served as Naga City mayor for several terms before he was appointed as Interior and Local Government Secretary by President Aquino.

Meanwhile, President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III has signed on Tuesday Proclamation No. 460 s. 2012, proclaiming August 21 until Robredo’s interment National Days of Mourning.

The proclamation states that “for a period of six (6) days, the national flag shall be flown at half-mast from sunrise to sunset in all government buildings and installations in the Philippines and in our posts abroad.”

“Furthermore, from today, August 21, 2012 until the date of internment, the national flag shall be lowered to half-mast in Malacañan Palace, the City of Naga, and in all offices and installations of the DILG, BFP, BJMP, LGA, NAPOLCOM, PNP and PPSC,” the proclamation said.#

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