'No one thought Alfredo Lim would die of COVID-19'

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 10 2020 11:36 AM | Updated as of Aug 10 2020 12:56 PM

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MANILA-- It started with a simple cough.

No one thought that 90-year-old Alfredo Lim, a multi-term Manila mayor, would succumb to coronavirus disease (COVID-19), his son Rolando said as he recalled how his father remained physically fit even in old age.

"No one expected na kaya siyang ibagsak ng sakit na ito (COVID-19) dahil talagang physically, kondisyon si tatay eh," the younger Lim told Teleradyo on Monday.

"Iba ang disiplina niya sa sarili niya, sa katawan niya kaya marami talagang nagulat nung masabing nagkasakit siya, naanuhan ng COVID, naospital," he added.

(He is disciplined when it comes to his self and body, that's why many were shocked when they found out that he contracted COVID-19 and was hospitalized.)

The elder Lim, whose tough stance on crime earned him the moniker "Dirty Harry," passed away on Saturday after battling with the respiratory disease.

His partner, who also contracted the disease, is still recuperating in the hospital.


Initially, the former police officer had a mild cough that he thought was nothing out of the ordinary, the younger Lim said.

While the elder Lim seldom goes out of his home, the family suspects that he contracted the virus from one of the politician's helpers.

"Baka daw galing doon sa mga katulong na inuutusan nila na namimili para sa mga pagkain nila," Rolando said.

(Maybe he caught it from one of the helpers who they ask to buy food for them.)

"Kilala naman natin si Mayor, pagkaganun na mga sakit-sakit lang hindi niya iniintindi eh. Akala niya normal lang yun, natural lang lalo na sa magkakaedad niya," Rolando said.

(You know him, if it's only a mild illness, he doesn't mind it that much. He thought it was only normal for those who are aging.)

The former Manila mayor's remains lie in Tondo as his family has yet to finalize details of his burial, Rolando said.

Lim, who was 90 at the time of his death, was a member of the national police force for 30 years and also served as a director of the National Bureau of Investigation in 1992 before entering politics in the same year.

He was re-elected in 1995. He returned to the post in 2010 and served until 2013, when he lost to Joseph Estrada.