CEBU CITY, Philippines — “We lost a great Cebuano.”
This was the statement of Cebu Provincial Governor Gwendolyn Garcia on the passing of Cebu City North District Representative Raul del Mar on the evening of Monday, November 16, 2020.
Garcia remembers their time together in Congress during her term as the representative of the third district of Cebu. She said that Del Mar was an example of dedication in public service.
“He would always arrive at 9 a.m. and never leave until the plenary or the committee was adjourned. Bisan og lima nalang ka representatives nga nabilin. (Even if there were only five representatives left),” said Garcia.
For the governor, the dedication of Del Mar for the nine terms he served since 1987 is exemplary, a statesman who was never absent from any of the House and Camara session.
Epitome of dedication to the city
Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella also offered his condolences to the family of Del Mar, saying that the solon has served the Cebuanos well in the last 30 years.
“Raul is an institution in our city, which he has served for decades. I grieve with the family he leaves behind. I condole with the constituents he has served with integrity for years. When a great man like Raul dies, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote, ‘for years beyond our ken, the light he leaves behind him lies upon the paths of men.’ The light our friend Raul shone by his example of public service with empathy and humility will continue to guide us in serving the city we all love,” said the mayor.
Labella added that the memory of Del Mar would remain in the hearts of every Cebuano politician as an epitome of dedication to the city.
For his part, Cebu City Vice Mayor Michael Rama said that Cebu City would never been as it is without the passion for service of Congressman Del Mar.
“His longevity in public service & his dedication to the people of the North District has made him a household name. May you Rest In Peace, Congressman Del Mar,” said Rama.
‘Champion of the Media’
Del Mar served nine terms as representative of the north district since 1987 and is considered as a “Champion of the Media” for being the author of the law declaring September 21 as the Cebu Press Freedom Day, and for expanding the Sotto Law, which protects media practitioners.
A trustee of the Cebu News Workers’ Foundation, Del Mar helped push the local media’s initiative to build the Marcelo B. Fernan Cebu Press Center in Lahug, Cebu City.
Del Mar, who never lost an election, was well beloved by his party mates at Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK), an affiliate of the Liberal Party.
“We deeply mourn the passing of Rep. Raul del Mar of the Cebu City-North District. Rep. del Mar and I worked together on various urban poor projects in Cebu City. One of these projects was the first socialized medium-rise building for the urban poor in Barangay Lorega which benefited 60 families,” said Councilor Alvin Dizon of the BOPK.
His colleague and party-mate, South District Representative Rodrigo “Bebot” Abellanosa said that every Cebuano will remember Del Mar as a true public servant.
“You remain alive in the hearts of the people you have served with all your heart. You have done a lot for the people in very meaningful ways. Rest in peace Congressman Raul del Mar, my partner, statesman, public servant. You have toiled more than enough. Perfect attendance for 27 years. Landmark legislations. Non-stop basic services. God will take care of you as you do to our people,” said Abellanosa.
Other representatives with Delmar in Congress also offered their condolences to the sudden passing of the political veteran.
Cebu Sixth District Representative Emmarie “Lollypop” Ouano-Dizon said that Del Mar made Cebu proud with his legislations and pioneering of projects that helped Cebu City boom.
“Over the decades, he had authored several laws and had helped so many of his constituents. With his stellar achievements in Congress, he had made Cebu proud. His infrastructure projects changed the face of his district and the lives of his constituents. In his lifetime of work, he left a legacy of sincere public service, one that will be forever etched in history, and in our hearts,” said Ouano-Dizon.
The family of Del Mar has yet to issue an official statement over his death, but initial reports reveal that he died in a hospital in Manila, where he was confined while attending virtual sessions in the Congress.