86-year-old Lim seeks 5th term as Manila mayor, bashes Estrada over plunder
MANILA — Seeking a return to City Hall for a fifth term, former Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim launched his bid against incumbent Mayor Joseph Estrada at the storied Plaza Miranda on Monday with the blessing of President Aquino and the entire Liberal Party (LP) ticket.
The 86-year-old Lim, whose crime-busting exploits as a former National Bureau of Investigation director earned him the moniker “Dirty Harry,” formally declared his support for LP’s Mar Roxas and Leni Robredo.
President Aquino graced the early evening LP proclamation rally that drew hundreds of Manila residents in yellow, waving banners and balloons, at the square fronting the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene in the heart of Manila’s Quiapo district.
During his speech, he took the occasion to criticize the rivals of Roxas, his chosen successor, skewering Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on his trigger-happy remarks, Sen. Grace Poe on her experience, and Vice President Jejomar Binay on the corruption charges against him.
“As the father of the people, it is my responsibility to present to you who deserves to be your next leader, someone who made sacrifice for your sake… That is Mar Roxas,” Aquino said.
“If the other candidates are laden with controversy, he offers his experience and skills,” he said. “If we want to continue on ‘daang matuwid (straight path), we must choose Mar and Leni (Robredo),” he said.
During his speech, the former mayor took the occasion to attack his opponent Estrada, to whom he lost the mayor’s seat in their last face-off in 2013.
“We’ve had 15 presidents. Of our 15 presidents, who was convicted of plunder?” he asked the crowd. When they yelled “Erap!” in answer, Lim said: “You are so good at history.”
Lim said Estrada was a far cry from the incumbent President.
“But our President, Benigno S. Aquino III, was never once involved in corruption. He has fought for clean and honest governance, something he inherited from his mother, President Cory Aquino,” he said.
“He will be succeeded by Mar Roxas, who has no record corruption, no theft of public coffers,” he said.
Emblazoned across the awning of the makeshift stage was a streamer that embodied the campaign theme of the LP-led “Daang Matuwid coalition: “Huwag kang magnakaw. Huwag kang magsinungaling (Do not steal. Do not lie).”
One of the acts hired to entertain the crowd, the Pakyaw duo, did impersonations of politicians and other personalities including former President Fidel Ramos and even the late actor Fernando Poe Jr., father of Roxas’ rival Sen. Grace Poe.
But what elicited the most laughs was a comic impression by the pair of Lim’s rival Estrada, the former President. “Forgive me, Mayor Lim, I’m all bluster. I came here to tell the people to vote for you instead.”
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