Families mourn Plaridel plane crash victims

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 18) — The Dela Rosa family goes to mass together with their relatives every Sunday. They live near each other in Barangay Lumang Bayan in Plaridel, Bulacan.

But this week, their Sunday took on a tragic turn. In place of their usual weekend gathering, five white wooden caskets were lined up in the chapel of the Holy Cross instead.

Five members of the Dela Rosa family died Saturday, when a plane crashed into their home.

Rissa, the mother, was having lunch with her children, 17-year-old John Noel, 10-year-old Timothy Noel, and seven-year-old Krissa when the plane plummeted from the sky. The grandmother, Luisa Santos, 75, also died from the incident.

READ: 10 dead after plane crashes into house in Plaridel, Bulacan

Plaridel police said Saturday they had retrieved 10 bodies from the site of the crash-- five from the family, and five others onboard the crashed plane.

Now, all that's left onsite are the plane's burnt parts and the victims' clothes.

Just a day after the tragedy, grieving relatives try to cope with the sudden death of their loved ones.

Leo Dela Rosa, Rissa's eldest son, was still in shock when CNN Philippines talked to him. He was riding a tricycle on his way home from class when he heard the news.

"Tinanong po kasi ako kung saan bababa. Sabi ko po eh doon pa po. Sabi (niya), hindi kita mahahatid (doon) kasi nasusunog... Tinanong ko po kung saan may nasusunog eh, tapos doon daw po sa may bahay namin... Eh yun na po bumaba na po ako tapos pumunta na po ako," he said.

[Translation: The tricycle driver asked me where I'd go down. I told him there, but he said he couldn't bring me there cause there was a fire… I asked where there was a fire and he said it was at our house… I got off the tricycle and went there.]

His father, Noel, still couldn't explain what happened. He mourns not just the loss of his wife, but his three children too.

Meanwhile, Fe Pagaduan is the aunt and guardian of pilot Maria Vera Pagaduan, who was a passenger on the plane.

Fe, who raised Maria Vera, said she never wanted her daughter to become a pilot, but let the latter follow her dreams.

She shared her last conversation with her beloved daughter through text.

"Ang sabi ko, 'Good a.m. anak kamusta ka na diyan? Mag-iingat ka lagi ha?' Nagtext siya sa akin ng 8:32 a.m., 'Okay naman po, Ma, palipad na po kami, text ko na lang po kayo pag sa Basco na po kami agad...ingat din po kayo, Mama.'" she read.

[Translation:I said 'Good morning, daughter. How are you? Always take care, okay?' She texted me at 8:32 a.m., 'I'm okay ma, we're almost taking off. I'll text you when we're in Basco. Take care, mom.]


Fe wants the company, Lite Air express, to face them. She said if they continue to be silent, she will not hesitate to file a case against them.

The company has yet to issue a statement.

Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) spokesperson Eric Apolonio told CNN Philippines on Saturday the aircraft underwent a safety check and the airport is functioning well. However, residents told the police they heard strange noises coming from the plane.

The six-seater Piper PA-23 Apache aircraft operated by Lite Air Express was bound for Laoag, Ilocos Norte.

The CAAP said all aircraft operated by Lite Air Express are grounded, pending the result of the investigation.