MANILA, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- An aircraft carrying Philippine Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo crashed on Saturday afternoon in Central Philippines, his aide were rescued, but the secretary and two pilots were still missing, local media said.
A five-seat light plane carrying Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo crashed near the airport in Masbate, a city in Central Philippine Province of Masbate, according to the website of ABS-CBN, a local TV station.
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) confirmed the report in a statement, saying Mr. Robredo was on a plane from Cebu to Naga, whose pilots sent a distress call to Masbate airport at about 5 p.m., requesting for an emergency landing.
However, the plane did not make it to the airport and crashed in the nearby Masbate Bay, the statement added.
The ABS-CBN said in a later report that Robredo's aide, identified as Jun Abrazado, has been rescued from the crash site, and pinpointed the location of the crash site.
It is said that besides Robredo, there were three other people on the plane 2 pilots and Jun Abrazado. Masbate City Vice Governor Vince Revi said in the report that search and rescue operations were ongoing, but he has yet to determine the status of Robredo and the other passengers.
Robredo is one of the members of the cabinet closest to President Benigno Aquino III and helped his election campaign in 2010.