The “Dirty Harry” of Manila is coming back to ”clean” the city.
Former Manila mayor Alfredo Lim on Tuesday filed his certificate of candidacy seeking a rematch with his erstwhile friend and political ally incumbent Mayor Joseph Estrada for the city’s top post.
Lim, a Liberal Party bet for mayor who served the city from 1992 to 1998 and 2007 to 2013, filed his COC with running mate Benjamin “Atong” Asilo, who is in his third and final term as representative of the first district (Tondo) of Manila.
“Our battlecry—Libreng Serbisyo ibalik sa Manila at kay Atong, bawal ang kotong,” said Lim.
The policeman-turned-politician, together with supporters clad in yellow shirts, paid a visit to the marker of the late Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. and Corazon “Cory” Aquino along Roxas Boulevard before proceeding to the Commission on Elections local office in Arroceros, Manila to file his COC.
Lim was the second candidate for mayor to file a COC at the local Comelec.
On Monday, Manila 5th district Rep. Amado Bagatsing filed his COC along with other candidates running under Kabalikat ng Bayan sa Kaunlaran, a local political party he founded in the 80s.
Bagatsing, son of the longest serving mayor of Manila, the late Ramon Bagatsing, is teaming up with vice mayoral bet Ali Atienza, an incumbent councilor and son of former Manila mayor and now Buhay Party List Rep. Lito Atienza.
Estrada’s camp said the mayor is set to file his COC Wednesday along with his running mate Sheila Honey Pangan, daughter of former vice mayor Danny Lacuna.
Lim ran but lost to Estrada in the 2013 elections. If reelected, he promised to continue his programs such as free healthcare in government hospitals and free college education and fight against criminal elements, especially drug traffickers, in Manila.
Lim, 85, said he is confident he can give Estrada, 78, a harder fight because of his failure to live up to his promise to restore Manila to its former glory.
Lim dismissed concerns about his age and even challenged Estrada to go jogging with him.
“I am not sick. I am still strong. I don’t know about him. I don’t know if he is sick... if he is still strong,” said Lim.
Estrada had said 2013 would be his last stint in politics, but he recently announced he would seek reelection. Lim, too, had said 2013 was his last political campaign, saying he would retire from politics, win or lose.
Lim served as Estrada’s secretary for the Interior and Local Government department but his stint was cut short when Estrada was ousted as president during the second Edsa People Power revolt in 2001.
He earned the title “Dirty Harry” for his tough anti-crime campaign when he was a police officer, director of the National Bureau of Investigation, Manila Police District chief, DILG secretary and then mayor of Manila.