Philippine President takes control of minister's search

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BALI. August. KAZINFORM  Philippine President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III flew to Masbate City on early Sunday to personally oversee the search and rescue operation of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo.

Robredo was flying a five-seater Piper Seneca from Cebu City to his home city of Naga on Saturday afternoon, when the aircraft crash-landed in the sea. His aide Jun Abrazado managed to jump out of the plane as it was plummeting into the sea near Masbate City and survived with minor injuries, RIA Novosti reports.

The relief operation involves rescuers, military and the Navy. It was suspended during the night and resumed in the early hours on Sunday. There were two pilots on the plane besides Robredo and Abrazado and they are also missing after the crash .

Abrazado said that one of the aircraft's propellers went dead shortly before the crash, while witnesses say that one of the wings tore apart from the plane as it was going down into the sea.

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