Forget Dirty Harry. He’d rather be known by his new moniker, Harry Fatter, a healthy wellness advocate who still is, however, the controversial crime-fighter in the fashion of the Clint Eastwood character.
“Madumi daw ang Maynila eh wala tayong magagawa. Kaya nga Dirty Harry ang tawag sa akin. Pero may wellness program tayo para sa Maynila. Kapag malusog na ’ko, puwede n’yo na kong tawaging Harry Fatter (They say Manila is dirty and we can’t do anything about it. That’s why they call me Dirty Harry. But we have a wellness program for Manila. If I grow bulkier, you can call me Harry Fatter),” said “Alfredo Lim”—actually master mimic Willie Nepomuceno’s impersonation of the incumbent Manila mayor.
Nepomuceno regaled members of the media on Monday in the weekly Kapihan sa Diamond Hotel when, in character as reelectionist Lim, he showed up just as former President and now Manila mayoral candidate Joseph Estrada was criticizing the health services and gun-grabbing incidents in the city. The media forum turned into a stand-up comedy act.
“I’m here to answer the lies and accusations of my rival,” said a “white-haired” Nepomuceno, who was sporting sunglasses similar to that worn by Lim.
Nepomuceno cracked jokes about the peace and order situation in Manila and “Lim’s” transformation from “Dirty Harry” to “Harry Fatter,” among other “issues” between the 75-year-old former President hounded by his plunder conviction and the 83-year-old reelectionist criticized for the mounting debts of City Hall.
“There is peace and order in Manila. Because of my order, the criminals are now in peace. Nananahimik na sila (They are resting in peace),” Nepomuceno said.
As a parting shot, Nepomuceno gave Estrada, who will turn 76 on April 19, a black T-shirt bearing the words, “An epal a day, makes dynasties stay!” The impersonator will showcase his many faces and voices in a Music Museum show titled “Epal: The Musical,” on April 12 and 13.
In an interview with reporters, Estrada was asked to comment on cases of crime suspects in Manila being killed for reportedly grabbing the guns of policemen.
“We will look into that if there is indeed gun-grabbing. If the suspect is still handcuffed and he is killed, that’s a violation of human rights,” he said in Filipino.
“We have a lot of hospitals but they lack the necessary equipment and medicine. We need to strengthen the health centers in barangays so patients afflicted with minor ailments need not crowd in hospitals,” he said.
“We need not maintain the six hospitals. But since they’re already there, let’s just allocate the necessary budget to keep them going,” added Estrada, citing Ospital ng Tondo, which has yet to make its elevator operational.
The Manila City Council recently scrapped the mayor’s intelligence fund of P191.5 million and slashed the Office of the Mayor’s budget from P198 million to P117 million. The money was realigned for the capital outlay of the six hospitals.