21 Aug 2012

Divers recover body of Filipino politician

3:59 pm on 21 August 2012

Divers have recovered the body of one of the Philippines' most influential politicians, three days after a light plane carrying him and three others crashed into the sea.

Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo's remains were found at a depth of 55 metres near the coast of the central island of Masbate, where the plane went down on Saturday, according to Transportation and Communications Secretary Mar Roxas.

Mr Roxas said on Tuesday that divers battled strong currents to reach the wreck of the twin-engine Piper Seneca, which was lying overturned on the sea bed about 800 metres from the shore, and Mr Robredo's body was then brought up, AFP reports.

Divers were still trying to recover the bodies of the Filipino pilot and his Nepalese co-pilot. The fourth person on the plane, Mr Robredo's aide, survived the crash.

Mr Robredo, 54, was flying to his home province from the central Philippines, where he was on an official trip, when the plane developed engine trouble, fell short of the runway and plunged into the sea.

Robredo was married, had three daughters and was one of President Benigno Aquino's most trusted ministers.