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Pilots' bodies recovered off Philippines

MANILA, Philippines -- Philippine officials say divers have recovered the bodies of two pilots from a plane that crashed in the sea over the weekend and killed the country's popular interior secretary, ending a massive search.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin says the Filipino pilot, Capt. Jessup Bahinting, was retrieved from the wreckage of the four-seat Piper Seneca plane on the sea floor off central Masbate province Wednesday. His Nepalese co-pilot, Kshitiz Chand, was found floating Thursday.

Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo's body was retrieved Tuesday in a U.S. Navy-backed search supervised by President Benigno Aquino III. Robredo's police aide managed to swim out of the doomed plane and survived.

With a stalled engine, the plane crashed at sea while attempting to land Saturday at the Masbate airport. The wreckage was brought ashore on Thursday.

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This handout photo taken on Thursday, Aug. 23 and released by the Public Affairs Office-Armed Forces of the Philippines (PAOAFP) shows Philippine military personnel carrying the body of Nepalese co-pilot Kshitiz Chand past the remains of the ill-fated light plane, which was carrying Philippine Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo when it crashed on Saturday, Aug. 18 off Masbate island. (AFP)

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