MANILA - Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim admitted Friday that he was negatively affected by the two debates he joined with former President Joseph Estrada.
Lim said he was criticized about the way he behaved in the debates. He said he doesn't regret facing off with Estrada, saying he didn't have a choice on how to answer Estrada's claims since silence might be confused as admission of guilt.
The mayor, who is running for re-election against Estrada, said he has turned down numerous requests for debates with Estrada after their last face-off at the University of the Philippines.
Lim said he now opts for sit-down interviews where he can focus on issues about Manila without having to defend himself from personal attacks. He trumpeted his achievements of his term, including building 5 hospitals in the city.
Lim and Estrada first traded insults during a live debate on ABS-CBN's Umagang Kay Ganda last March 12.
Estrada accused Lim of being a traitor and a cry baby and even ridiculed the mayor after his son was arrested for drug charges. In response, Lim accused the former president of being a liar and a criminal, noting that Estrada is the only president to be convicted of plunder.
The two politicians continued their clash at a UP forum the next day where they repeated the same insults.