MANILA - Former Manila mayor Alfredo Lim was an "exemplary" policeman, his long-time friend and at times political rival Buhay Partylist Rep. Lito Atienza said Sunday.
Atienza, in an interview with ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo, conveyed his condolences to Lim's family following his death Saturday afternoon.
Atienza served as Lim's vice mayor from 1992 to 1998 and defeated him in the succeeding election.
Lim, however, won against Atienza as mayor in 2010.
"Nanatili kaming magkaibigan. Magkumpare kami... Matindi ang labanan namin pero walang personalan. Nanatili kaming magkaibigan. Alam kong talagang masidhi ang kaniyang pagnanais na gumawa nang mabuti," Atienza said.
(We remained friends. Our fights were intense but we didn't take it personally. I know he just really wanted to do something good.)
"Sabi ko, tutulungan ko nang walang planong lumaban, pagiimbot o pagmamaramot. I gave him everything he needed, the support of his vice. Yung aming samahan ay naging modelo ng pagtutulungan between mayor and vice mayor."
(I told him I would help him without any intention to fight him, any hint of selfishness. I gave him everything he needed, the support of his vice. Our relationship was a model of a mayor and vice mayor helping each other.)
Lim was a "very good" and "efficient" policeman, according to Atienza.
"Alfredo Lim was a Manileño who became a policeman... Yung pagiging police ni Fred Lim ay talagang exemplary. That’s why he was given a chance at NBI, Department of Interior. He tried his best but the system did not allow him to reform the police system and bring back the old police system we had," he said.
"We’ve lost another political leader of the old school dahil iba na ang politiko ngayon, ibang-iba na (politicians are different nowadays). I hope one day we should go back to the old system where politicians do not seek the obvious. It’s the people seeking the politician to lead them."
Former DZMM anchor Kaye Dacer, who hosted "Aksyon Ngayon" with Lim before, said the Manila mayor was like a father to her.
"I think one thing I developed with him is the friendship, hindi lang yung friendship na parang magkaibigan lang eh. Para kaming mag-ama. Dumating ako sa punto na pati mga anak niya, naging close ko. Lahat ng gatherings namin, wala siyang hindi inattendan." she told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.
(We were like father and daughter. I got close with his children. He was there in all of our gatherings.)
"Hindi niya ako iniwan. Alam mo yung tipo na even after I resigned from ABS-CBN, magkasama pa rin kami. Araw-araw pa rin kami nagkikita. We never stopped communicating, even the time before siya tumakbo bilang mayor ulit."
(He never left me. Even after I resigned from ABS-CBN, we still saw each other. We never stopped communicating even the time before he ran for mayor again.)
She added that the last time she spoke to Lim was before Metro Manila went on lockdown.
"It’s always been his dream na magkaroon ulit kami ng show. Sabi niya, kailan ba tayo ulit magta-tandem," Dacer said.
(It’s always been his dream for us to host another radio show. He asked, when are we going to be on-air partners again?)
Lim she did not expect the former mayor to die of COVID-19, noting that he had been jogging and playing tennis in recent years.
"Hindi ko isipin na wala siya ngayon. Ang pinaguusapan namin ni Christie kahapon, kung di dahil sa pandemic na ito, baka makasama pa natin siya ng 5 to 10 years," she said, referring to Lim's daughter.
(I can't grasp he's gone now. When Christie and I were talking yesterday, we said if it were not to the pandemic, we would have had 5 to 10 more years with her father.)
"Binanggit ni Christie sa'kin, mukhang nainip sa bahay, lumabas. She was crying, hindi niya iniisip na ito pa ang ikamamatay ng kaniyang father."
(Christie told me it seems he got bored and left his home. She was crying, she couldn't grasp this would be the end of her father.)
Dacer urged the public to remain vigilant as she shared that she nearly lost her brother to the respiratory illness.