Jul 20
SHOWBIZ FRIENDLY MAYOR by Alex J. Socorro  |  Posted in Articles  |  on Fri, Jul 20, 2012

Not a few were asking why Mayor Fred Lim was one of the pallbearers during the burial of Dolphy. Perhaps people were expecting showbiz personalities and it was surprising to see the Manila Mayor in such a role.

According to my research, Fred Lim and Dolphy were good friends, way back when Lim was still a Patrolman. After being introduced, their chance meetings became regular usually at Hizon’s in Malate.

According to an item in the Philippine Daily Inquirer: Lim recounted that Dolphy used to “treat” him whenever they dined out and later gave him a pet dog, a Great Dane that’s always barking.

Some movie industry veterans emphasized Lim’s inclination towards the movie industry. His first biopic, titled Alfredo Lim, starred Rudy Fernandez in 1977. Former Sen. Ramon Revilla played Gen. Lim in 1990. The movie was Target: Police General (Maj. Gen. Alfredo S. Lim Story).

There was another movie based on the life of Lim. This time it was the portrayal by Eddie Garcia, a hot character actor in 1995. The story was about Lim’s political life entitled Alfredo Lim: Batas Ng Maynila.

Now there’s a fourth movie tentatively titled May Langit Din Ang Mahirap. It is Cesar Montano’s turn to essay the role.

In the 2004 presidential elections, Lim was a defender of presidential candidate Fernando Poe, Jr. who was being thrown the citizenship issue by a certain Manapat Sahib of the Archives Office. Lim eventually won a senatorial seat.

And even after the death of FPJ, Alfredo Lim joined the clamor to name FPJ as the true winner in the 2004 elections. It was said that the true president of the Philippines, for Lim, was FPJ.

Mayor Lim was also a good friend of the Film Academy of the Philippines. In 2008, the City of Manila was the first LGU to hand the collection of cultural tax to the beneficiary, i.e. Film Academy.

The 2008 photo when the Film Academy, represented by Director General Leo Martinez, received the collected cultural tax from Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim

As per the news: “The mayor turned over the check to FAP Director General Leo G. Martinez and Chairman Espiridion D. Laxa in brief ceremonies at the Manila City Hall on Monday, July 14, in the presence of other FAP officials, like Wilson Tieng, MPDAP president, William Mayo, Pablo Gomez, Manny Morfe, Jose Carreon and Alex Socorro.”

“A bank cheque for P2,113,624.75 representing the share of the academy in the 25 centavo cultural development tax collected by movie houses for admission tickets in Manila retroactive to the year 1992,” the press release added.

It was unfortunate that the Manila Film Festival scandal happened during his term. The so-called envelope switching was a big disgrace to the festival. But Mayor Lim stood his ground by announcing the real winners even after the ceremony had ended.

To refresh, the 1994 best actor was Edu Manzano and the best actress was Aiko Melendez. Due to the machinations of Lolit Solis, the trophies went to Gabby Concepcion and Ruffa Gutierrez.

That incident was a big blow to the mayor. In fact, according to an insider, Lim was saddened when the case was dismissed after Lim’s term as Manila Mayor had ended. But personally, Lim had already forgiven the culprits.

A rare photo of a smiling Alfredo Siojo Lim with Atty. Espiridion Laxa, Leo Martinez and Wilson Tieng of Solar Films

I remember meeting Alfredo Lim for the first time, that was in the NBI office sometime in 1990. As a Senior Systems Engineer assigned to NBI, I was in charge of handling the needs of the bureau in their automation plans.

Our firm, Data Automation Concepts, had conducted the bidding process for the purchase of hardware and software by the NBI that would be used for the clearance system. We were dealing directly with the personal secretary of NBI Director Tony Carpio.

Before we could collect the amount of about 200,000 pesos, there was the unexpected changing of the guards. Police General Alfredo Lim was appointed NBI Director vice J. Antonio Carpio.

We were caught flat-footed because I personally didn’t know that our firm’s contract with NBI was not yet signed by the former Director. The deputy, Manuel Roura, and the then Assistant Director Epimaco Velasco advised us to appeal to the new Director.

Armed with the letter of appeal, Assistant Director Velasco accompanied me to the Director’s office. Without further ado, Lim grabbed the contract, scanned it with his eyes for 10 seconds and then asked why the contract was not signed.

Before I could give an explanation, the NBI Director dropped the document on the table, stood up and proceeded to the direction of the elevator. The assistant director apologized to me before running after his boss. They were to go on an important meeting, he said.

Incidentally, Epimaco Velasco, a career person, succeeded Lim as the NBI Director. He also had a film bio which starred no less than FPJ himself.

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