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On this day (December 21), the most feared police officer of his time turned politician celebrates his 91st Birthday. Until his soul was taken during the pandemic. Let's take a look at some of the achievements and the legacy he left for his fellow Manileños.
Born in 1929 to Rosario Siojo and Alfredo Lim Sr. Fred (his given nickname) had a rough time with his childhood. Lim Sr. went back to Antique while, her mother remarried and left him at the Hospicio de San Jose. He was taken care of by his grandmother, Flora Valisno-Siojo, until her death in 1943, her godmother, Dolores La'o-Conde took care of him.
In 1943, Fred finished his primary education as a salutatorian at P. Gomez Elementary School, during his high school life he studied in 4 different schools. From the Bohol Institute of Technology (1st year), then at San Beda College (2nd year), at the University of Santo Tomas (3rd year), and finally finished his 4th year at the Far Eastern University in 1948.
In 1951, he earned his bachelor's degree in business administration and law in 1963 at the University of the East. Fred finished his master's degree in national security administration with honors at the National Defense College of the Philippines.
After finishing college, Fred joined the Philippine Constabulary (became the Philippine National Police in 1991), then became a decorated officer, the most feared police officer of Manila, and rose to the ranks of Superintendent of the Academy from 1984 to 1985. From Superintendent to Brigadier General, he was appointed as Chief of the Western (now Manila) Police District and played a key role during the protests of January 22, 1987, which became an incident that marked on the streets of Mendiola, Manila. 2 years later (1989) he was appointed as Director of the National Bureau of Investigation before retiring in 1992.
After his retirement, Fred decided to enter politics and took down 6 opponents to become Mayor of the City of Manila. Before the current administration's battle against criminality, Mayor Fred Lim promised to clean up the streets of his beloved city against crime, and corruption. Re-elected in 1995 and one memorable stint of Mayor Fred Lim is to spray the walls in red marking the homes of suspected drug pushers/users, even Manila's Red Light District didn't stand a chance against Fred.
This is when he was given the nickname during his 2 terms in office as "Dirty Harry" after the 1971 film starring Clint Eastwood as Inspector "Dirty" Harry Callahan of the San Francisco Police Department, because of his swift justice and a tough stance against anyone who stands in his way. He built hospitals, a college named City College of Manila (now Universidad de Manila) which is free for students at that time, dealt with traffic jams, garbage disposal, and flood prevention.
Fred decided to run for President under the Liberal Party after resigning on March 27, 1998. He failed until Joseph Ejercito Estrada became the 13th President of the Philippines. Estrada appointed him as Secretary of the Interior and Local Government but his term went short when Pres. Estrada was ousted during EDSA Dos (the 2nd EDSA Revolution). He became a senator from 2004 to 2007, then returned for this 3rd term as Mayor of Manila. With his 2 final terms as Mayor from 2007 to 2013, there were a lot of controversies during his term but continued his vision to fight against corruption & criminality.
On August 23, 2010, at Quirino Grandstand, Manila. Rolando Mendoza, a former police officer hijacked a tourist bus and the tourists are from Hong Kong. Demands were not met by the perpetrator resulting in 8 tourists dead after a stand-off between Mendoza and members of PNP Manila SWAT. 3 years later, Fred was found "administratively liable" after the incident due to a failed resolution of the hostage-drama. He plans to run for another term with Lou Veloso as his running mate but is defeated by Estrada and Moreno.
Outside of his political career, he was the host of a television show called "Katapat: Mayor Fred Lim". The program helped to solve many unsolved cases around Metro Manila and the whole nation. Fred decided to run again as Mayor, but lost to Estrada in 2016 and the current mayor Isko Moreno in 2019. 4 months ago, Fred died and was tested positive for the coronavirus. His remains were cremated and buried at the Manila North Cemetery on August 29, 2020.
The Philippine National Police made their tributes, while the Manila City Hall and other government offices around Metro Manila were on half-mast in honor of Alfredo Lim. Despite his failed attempts in 2010, Fred was a legendary figure from sending fear against violators, a respected officer, and cleansed the filth of his beloved city during his term as Mayor of Manila.