Former deputy speaker Del Mar, 79

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    CEBU Rep. Raul del Mar on Monday night died at a hospital in Manila where he had been monitoring the virtual sessions of the House of Representatives. He was 79.

    The House of Representatives suspended its session to mourn the death of the veteran lawmaker, who was supposed to be elected deputy speaker under the new House leadership.

    Secretary-General Jocelia Bighani Sipin confirmed Del Mar’s death but could not say the cause of death as the lawmaker’s family has yet to make an official statement.

    He served as deputy speaker from 2004 to 2010 under the leadership of former House Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. during the presidency of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

    The Cebu Citizen’s Press Council (CCPC), whose executive director, Pachico Seares, is a close friend of the late lawmaker, said that until his death, Del Mark performed his duties as a lawmaker by attending online sessions even while confined at a hospital.

    In a statement, Speaker Lord Allan Velasco extended the House of Representatives’ “deepest condolences and sympathies to the family of former Deputy Speaker Raul Veloso Del Mar.