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Andanar honors frontliner uncle who died fighting COVID

PRESIDENTIAL Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar paid homage to his uncle, former Santa Monica, Surigao del Norte mayor, Dr. Rumar Andanar, who succumbed to complications from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on Monday.

The Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) in Cagayan de Oro, where he was previously admitted, confirmed the death of Dr. Andanar early Monday morning.

Over the course of his career, Dr. Andanar was a former mayor of his hometown in Siargao, former provincial board member, former president of Rotary Club of Surigao City, and a former police major of the Philippine National Police.

He entered the police force on July 1, 1987 and was reinstated on Dec. 17, 2003. He retired from the service on Oct. 21, 2014 at the age of 56.

He served as a Municipal Health Officer from 1993 to 1995; a Provincial Board Member from 1995 -1998; and the Municipal Mayor of Sta. Monica from 1998-2001. Prior to his demise, he worked as a Medical Officer for a rehabilitation center at Barangay Anomar, Surigao City.

Uncle Rumar T. Andanar, you have fought a good battle that will forever distinguish you from the rest of us. You continued healing people even at your retired and senior age,” Secretary Andanar posted on his social media account. “Our mayor, our police major, our dear uncle, father of cousin Mac, husband of Dr. Agnes, the people’s doctor, our front-liner and our hero has fallen. A life well lived, RIP Uncle Rumar. Salute!”

In his message, Secretary Andanar remembered his late uncle’s constant regard for his duty as a leader and public servant.

Uncle Rumar’s commitment to public service and dedication to his work will always be remembered by everyone. His untimely demise was a loss of a dedicated public servant to his people,” he said. “This unfortunate event, so as the many similar circumstances our fellow Filipinos have experienced throughout the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, exhibits the sacrifices and risks our front-liners continue to endure each day of their service to our collective fight against the virus.”

The PCOO chief went on to remind the public to remain cautious and maintain compliance with the issued safety protocols to protect themselves and other people from getting infected.

We call on all our countrymen to remain in compliance with the health protocols our government continues to remind us of. This as we aim to assist and protect our front-liners, also to strive to heal and recover from COVID-19 as one nation,” he said.

Secretary Andanar’s father, former Surigao del Norte governor and former DILG undersecretary Atty. Wencelito Andanar, said his brother’s death was a great loss not only to his family, but also to the medical chapter in the CARAGA Region.

I am in grief over the death of my dear brother who since childhood had stayed by my side, even so in difficult and trying periods of my life. I will always remember his kindness and wit,” Atty. Andanar said. “We commend you for fulfilling your Hippocratic Oath till the end. We love you, Rumar. For Dr. Agnes and Macmac know that our family will always be here for you. “Brother, when I see you in the sun, I shall tell you much.”

The Santa Monica local government led by Mayor Fernando Dolar also mourned the passing of former Mayor Rumar.

The LGU family of Santa Monica and all Sapaonons mourn the untimely passing of our beloved former mayor and board member, Dr. Rumar Andanar. May you rest in peace, pare. Our heartfelt condolences to Dr. Agnes, Mark, and to the Tan-Andanar family,” Vice Mayor Arwela Dolar said.

Dr. Andanar is also the brother of incumbent provincial board member of the first district of Surigao del Norte, Edgar Andanar.