A 'fitting' state funeral for Robredo

The nation will give a "fitting" state funeral for Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, who died in a plane crash off Masbate.

"It is fitting and proper that the State renders honor to the late Secretary of the Interior and Local Government, commensurate with the peoples’ affection and admiration for him," according to Memorandum Circular number 36 issued Tuesday by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa.

Earlier in the day, President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III personally supervised funeral arrangements and even brought the Interior secretary's remains to his family in Naga City.

The circular noted that Malacanang has created the Committee on Funeral Arrangements and Burial, composed of the offices of the Executive Secretary, Presidential Management Staff, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office, Office of the Presidential Spokesperson, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, Office of Presidential Protocol, Malacañang Social Office, Appointments Office, and the Presidential Security Group.

"These honors and all forms of official recognition must be done in accordance with law, wishes of the bereaved family of the late Secretary, and the fullest participation of the agencies he headed and the people he represented," the memorandum added.

On Saturday, a twin-engine, four-seater Piper Seneca plane carrying Robredo, and en route to Naga City from Cebu City crashed off Masbate after reports of engine trouble.

Robredo was found Tuesday still inside the plane, at sea depths of 180-feet, reported DOTC Secretary Mar Roxas.

Roxas said rescue operations for two other pilots, Captain Jessup Bahinting and Nepalese flight student Kshitiz Chand, has been turned into a retrieval operations.

Probe on the crash will continue after the pilots' bodies have been retrieved, said Roxas.

Meanwhile, government officials grieve Robredo's passing. Friends and supporters of Robredo also continue to flock De La Salle Greenhills (LSGH) Chapel in Mandaluyong City.

LP spokesperson and Quezon Rep. Lorenzo "Erin" Tañada III told reporters after the mass that Robredo was "a big loss to the party."

"Members of the party are still discussing plans of flying to Naga to condole with the Robredo family," he said.

LP Vice Chairman and Senator Franklin Drilon concurred, noting that Robredo's death is still "a shock" to his party.

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