The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines has ruled out foul play but probe will continue in the crash that killed Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo and two pilots.
The CAAP Aircraft Accident Investigation and Inquiry Board said Tuesday that Captain Amado Soliman and his team are already inspecting the engines of the Piper Seneca plane that crashed off the coast of Masbate last month.
In a congressional oversight hearing Monday, CAAP deputy director-general John Andrews said that based on initial findings, there was no foul play involved and that the crash that killed Robredo and pilots Jessup Bahinting and Kshitiz Chand was an accident.
He said, however, that the CAAP will check if it was an "accident waiting to happen." The CAAP's investigation will check the airplane's parts to see whether the crash was caused by a technical or a mechanical failure. CAAP however did not disclose details of the probe as it requested a closed-door session with the Congressional Oversight Committee on the CAAP.
The CAAP's report came as Robredo's subordinate at the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Undersecretary Rico Puno, hit the headlines. According to reports, Puno tried to enter Robredo's office and condominium unit while search and rescue operations were ongoing.
President Benigno Aquino III had instructed Puno to secure Robredo's office because of sensitive documents on DILG investigations. The Palace has said, however, that no orders were given regarding Robredo's condominium unit.
According to reports, Robredo had been investigating a deal to purchase 1,800 assault rifles from an Israeli firm for the Philippine National Police. Robredo had reportedly ordered the bidding stopped but Puno wanted the deal to bypass public bidding.
The deal was scrapped on August 31 although the investigation into it continues.
Zambales Rep. Mitos Magsaysay, a member of the House minority, has meanwhile challenged the Aquino administration to make the results of Robredo's investigation public.
"Inumpisahan na ng mga factions within admin to reveal investigations, ituloy na nila...Para magkaalaman na kung sino ang matino sa hindi," she said over Twitter on Monday.
Fourteen early winners in the party-list race have been named Friday even as the protracted count of votes continues.