Rolando Andaya, Ex-Congressman and Budget Chief, is Dead

Son of Bicol is a budget process 'stalwart'.
Photo/s: Rolando "Nonoy" Andaya/Facebook

Former congressman and budget secretary Rolando "Nonoy" Andaya Jr. has died, his family said. He was 53.

Andaya's children, Ranton and Katrina, announced his death Sunday in a post on their father's verified Facebook account without specifying the cause.

Before his death, Andaya lost in the Camarines Sur gubernatorial race to Luigi Villafuerte. The election defeat came two years after he lost his wife, Marissa, to cancer.

"We request for your fervent prayers for his eternal repose, and to allow us, his family, to grieve privately our loss," the Andaya children said.

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Rolando "Nonoy" Andaya/Facebook
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Andaya described wife Marissa as his "best friend" and the "love of my life" when he announced her death in mid 2020. Then congresswoman Marissa fought cancer for seven years, he said.

A fellow Bicolano politician, Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, told ANC on Friday that the nation lost a "stalwart" of the budget process.

From 'Spice Boy' to budget chief

Andaya served as budget secretary for four years under former President Gloria Arroyo until the end of her term in 2010.

Prior to his stint in Malacanang, Andaya was part of the House of Representatives' "Spice Boys", a group of young congressmen, some first-termers, who were aligned with the political opposition of their time.

A fellow "Spice Boy", Mike Defensor, served in the Arroyo Cabinet with Andaya as environment secretary. Another groupmate, Migz Zubiri, is now the incoming Senate president.

In mid 2021, Andaya floated the ticket of Sara Duterte for president and his former Arroyo cabinet colleague, Gilberto Teodoro Jr., as vice president. Duterte won the vice presidency and Teodoro lost in the senatorial elections.

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Andaya backed the presidential bid of fellow Bicolano, former Vice President Leni Robredo.

'Love of my life'

In a statement announcing his wife's death, Andaya said: "Her people lost their leader, our children their caring mother, and I my best friend."

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"Marissa was a cancer warrior, staving off of the ravages of that cruel disease for seven years. Always cheerful, she never allowed her sickness infect the people around her with despair. Even at her lowest point, it was she who kept our spirits up, and never for once relinquished her role as the anchor of the family," she said.

One of his last Facebook posts was a photo of his daughter, Katrina, congratulating her for graduating from the University of Oregon. Andaya said her daughter made him "the happiest dad".

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If you are having thoughts of suicide, know that help is always here. You are not alone. Call the National Center For Mental Health 24/7 Crisis Hotline 1553, 0917 899 8727(USAP), and/or 7-989-8727 (USAP).

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