FORMER Interior undersecretary and special envoy to Malaysia Wencelito Andanar passed away on Thursday morning after battling liver cancer. He was 73.
This was confirmed by his son, Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, in a statement sent to reporters.
“It is with deep sorrow that we bid farewell to my father, Atty. Wencelito Andanar, who succumbed to liver cancer this morning, 7:50 a.m., at the Veteran’s Memorial Medical Center,” the younger Andanar said.
“My father was the greatest man and mentor I have ever known. He was my idol and I looked up to him, so much, that he inspired me to join public service,” he added.
The Palace official described his father as “a man of service” who dedicated his professional years as a public servant within different government agencies.
Over the course of his career, the elder Andanar was also the officer-in-charge governor of Surigao del Norte from 1986 to 1988.
Consequently, he served as the chairman of the Philippine Coconut Authority from 1982 to 1992.
He was also the undersecretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government from 2001 to 2007.
In 2018, he was appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte as his special envoy to Malaysia for a term of six months.
“And through his leadership took initiative to bridge the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao to the global market. Despite the pandemic, he was able to continue to work with the Malaysian government and assist in the repatriation efforts for overseas Filipinos,” the younger Andanar said.
“I know I speak for many when I say that we have lost not just a remarkable civil servant but a pillar in our lives. He may no longer be with us, but his deeds and his legacy will continue to live on in our hearts,” he added.