MANILA — Special envoy to Malaysia and former Interior Undersecretary Wencelito Andanar passed away on Thursday, his son Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said.
The elder Andanar succumbed to liver cancer at the Veteran’s Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City, said his son. He was 73.
"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," Martin said in a statement.
The Andanar patriarch, whom his son described as a "man of service", was officer-in-charge Governor of Surigao del Norte from 1986 to 1988. The late official was born in Sta. Monica town of said province.
He served as the Chairman of the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) from 1982 to 1992. During the administration of President Corazon Aquino, he was appointed as Presidential Assistant from 1989 to 1992.
He was undersecretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government from 2001 to 2007.
In 2018, he was appointed as the special envoy of President Rodrigo Duterte to Malaysia.
Wencelito Andanar assisted the repatriation of Filipinos in Malaysia during the COVID-19 pandemic, said his son.
"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," Martin Andanar said.
"Paalam (farewell), Papa! Thank you for being a brother, a father, a confidant, and a friend. You had a life well-lived. You are a lifelong example of leadership and selflessness. When I meet you in the sun, I shall tell you much."