Alfredo Lim

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Alfredo S. Lim
Alfredo Lim at Mendiola.jpg
Lim in 2008
23rd and 25th Mayor of Manila
In office
June 30, 2007 – June 30, 2013
Vice MayorIsko Moreno Domagoso
Preceded byLito Atienza
Succeeded byJoseph Ejercito Estrada
In office
June 30, 1992 – March 27, 1998
Vice MayorLito Atienza
Preceded byMel Lopez
Succeeded byLito Atienza
Senator of the Philippines
In office
June 30, 2004 – June 30, 2007[a]
20th Secretary of the Interior and Local Government
In office
January 8, 2000 – January 20, 2001
PresidentJoseph Ejercito Estrada
Preceded byRonaldo Puno
Succeeded byJose Lina Jr.
8th Director of the
National Bureau of Investigation
In office
Appointed byCorazon C. Aquino
Preceded byAntonio M. Cárpio
Succeeded byEpimaco Velasco
Personal details
Alfredo Siojo Lim Jr.

(1929-12-21)December 21, 1929
Tondo, Manila, Philippine Islands
DiedAugust 8, 2020(2020-08-08) (aged 90)
Manila, Philippines
Resting placeManila North Cemetery
Political partyPDP–Laban (2018–2020)
Other political
PRP (1992–1998)
Liberal (1998, 2008–2018)
PMP (1998–2008)
Amalia Santos
(m. 1951; died 1994)

Gemma Alivio
Children12, including Cristina and Manuel
Alma materUniversity of the East (BS, LL.B.)
National Defense College of the Philippines (MNSA)
Philippine College of Criminology (PhD)
OccupationPolice officer, politician, lawyer
WebsiteOfficial website
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese林雯洛
Simplified Chinese琳·温洛

Alfredo "Fred" Siojo Lim Jr. (Chinese: 林雯洛; pinyin: Lín Wénluò; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Lîm Bûn-lo̍k;[citation needed] December 21, 1929 – August 8, 2020) was a Filipino politician and police officer who served as a Senator of the Philippines from 2004 to 2007. He also served as the 23rd and 25th Mayor of Manila twice: first from 1992 to 1998, and again from 2007 to 2013.[1]

Prior to entering politics, Lim was a policeman for three decades. During the administration of President Corazon Aquino, he was appointed the Director of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), serving from 1989 to 1992. In 1992, he was elected Mayor of Manila, serving for two consecutive terms. He then unsuccessfully ran for president in 1998. Two years later, in 2000, he was appointed by President Joseph Estrada as the Secretary of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).[2]

In 2001, he ran again for mayor of Manila but lost to then-incumbent Lito Atienza. In the 2004 elections, he ran for senator and won. Three years into his tenure in the Senate, he resigned in order to run for mayor of Manila, which he won and served two consecutive terms from 2007 to 2013. He then lost the 2013 and 2016 mayoral elections to former president Estrada.[3][4] In 2019, both Lim and Estrada lost the mayoralty elections to Isko Moreno, who served as vice mayor during the two former mayors' respective terms.[5]

Due to his tough stance against suspected criminals, Lim earned the nickname "Dirty Harry",[6] and has been depicted numerous times in local action films within his lifetime.

Early life and career[edit]

Lim was born on December 21, 1929, at the Emmanuel Community Hospital along Calle Manuguit, Tondo, Manila, to Rosario Siojo, a Filipina with Chinese ancestry from the Siojo family of San Miguel, Bulacan. His father, Alfredo Lim Sr., returned to his hometown Antique.[7] When he was in pre-school, his mother remarried and left him at the Hospicio de San Jose. When he was in the third grade, he was put under the care of his maternal grandmother, Flora Valisno-Siojo. After his grandmother's death in 1943, he lived with his godmother, Dolores La'o-Conde.

He finished primary school as a salutatorian at the P. Gomez Elementary School in 1943. Lim graduated high school in 1948 at the Far Eastern University. He earned a degree of business administration in 1951 and a Bachelor of Law in 1963 at the University of the East. In 1981, he finished his master's degree in national security administration with honours at the National Defense College of the Philippines and pursued a Doctor of Philosophy in criminology at the Philippine College of Criminology where he graduated in 1996.

When Lim began work in the police in the 1952, one of his first accomplishments was arresting future senator Robert Barbers for illegal possession of firearms. Then Manila Vice Mayor James Barbers, Robert's uncle, tried to negotiate with Lim to release Robert Barbers without charges, but Lim nevertheless proceeded to file charges. A decorated police officer, Lim earned numerous commendations and awards.[citation needed] During the late 1980s, Lim helped defend the government of then-President Corazon Aquino, such as leading the retaking of government installations from military rebels during one of the 1987 coup attempts. After retiring from the police, Lim was appointed Director of the National Bureau of Investigation, where he lobbied for more funding and pay increases for agents and other employees. Since regular agents had to be fairly half of the force's positions were vacant, and there were few takers because of the low salary. Lim also lobbied for the position of special investigator which was realized to complement regular agents.

Political career[edit]

Mayor of Manila (1992–1998)[edit]

In 1992, Lim beat six opponents in the election to become mayor of the city of Manila. As mayor, he worked on a strong law and order program which lessened crime. Lim worked on some projects to improve the city's image which had been bad when he assumed office. He pushed reforms in the city government. His slogan was "Magaling na Lider, Disiplinado" (lit. transl. "Excellent Leader, Disciplined").[citation needed]

Lim was re-elected in 1995. During his first two terms in office, he earned the nickname "Dirty Harry" for his tough anti-crime policies against suspected and convicted drug pushers, drug runners, and the city's red light districts, among others.[8] He founded the City College of Manila that would serve to complement Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila. It was under his administration when the Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center in Tondo was established in 1997.[9] He resigned on March 27, 1998, to focus on his presidential campaign.[citation needed]

Presidential run and DILG Secretary (1998–2001)[edit]

Lim ran a failed bid for the presidency as the Liberal Party nominee in the 1998 election, garnering only 8.7% of the vote and finishing fifth in a field of eleven candidates.

In January 2000, his rival in the presidential election, President Joseph Estrada, appointed him as Secretary of the Interior and Local Government. His stint was cut short when Estrada was ousted during the second EDSA Revolution the following year.[citation needed]

2001 mayoral elections[edit]

Lim ran against incumbent Mayor Lito Atienza, his former ally and vice mayor, in 2001. However, he lost to Atienza by almost 80,000 votes.[citation needed]

Senator (2004–2007)[edit]

Lim was elected Senator in the 2004 election under PMP and the banner of the Koalisyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino (KNP). As a senator, Lim introduced legislation to bring back mandatory ROTC, but this bill did not receive any co-sponsors.[10]

Return as mayor (2007–2013)[edit]

In 2007, Lim decided to run again for Mayor of Manila. He won and defeated Atienza's son, Ali Atienza; he thus gave up his Senate seat. Shortly after assuming office, he adopted the slogan "Linisin, Ikarangal (ang) Maynila" (transl. Clean, Dignify Manila, hence the acronym LIM). He ended the ban on holding rallies at Mendiola, which was initiated by his predecessor Lito Atienza, later modifying it by allowing rallies to be held there on weekends and holidays.[citation needed]

On July 16, 2007, Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Oscar Calderon asked him to revoke his ban to prevent militants from marching there. The PNP would recommend having protesters take their rallies to freedom parks. Calderon warned that if Lim will not change his position, the PNP will enforce the "no permit, no rally" policy.[11] He ordered the removal of all business establishments, including bars and restaurants, in the Baywalk area along Roxas Boulevard (also another Atienza project) in an attempt to make the area a "wholesome park for everyone", with an unobstructed view of the famed Manila sunset. He claimed that many of these establishments have no business permits and were selling liquor, which is a violation of applicable city ordinances.[12]

In December 2007, he told MMDA Chairman Bayani Fernando not to conduct its sidewalk clearing operations in Manila since vendors were allowed to sell on sidewalks for humanitarian reasons. He stated: "I jokingly told Chairman Fernando that they are welcome anytime but I cannot guarantee their safety. Their problem is how they will get out."[13]

On March 14, 2008, Lim's son, Manuel "Manny" Lim, and two other suspects were arrested in a hotel along Tomas Mapua Street by PDEA operatives during a buy–bust operation in Binondo. Manny had in his possession 100 grams of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu worth P600,000.[14]

On July 17, 2008, Councilor Dennis Alcoreza filed human rights complaints before the Commission on Human Rights, against Lim and other officials of the city of Manila. Alcoreza accused Lim of a violent takeover of a slaughterhouse in Tondo on July 11, and illegal dispersal of protest.[15] Meanwhile, 24 councilors resigned from their posts as members and heads of the different committees, prompting a reorganization. The councilors unanimously denounced the violent treatment by Lim's Manila Police Department (MPD) towards Alcoreza during the city government's takeover of the slaughterhouse.[16]

Lim resigned as head of Joseph Estrada's Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) in August 2008, following a PMP's executive committee resolution removing him as president of the party. He was replaced by Estrada, who is also the PMP chairman.[17][18]

In October 2008, he made ROTC training mandatory for all students at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) and the City College of Manila (CCM, now the Universidad de Manila (UdM)), both city-owned colleges. He was also credited for the establishment of Santa Ana Hospital in Santa Ana, Manila, which serves residents of Manila's 6th district.[19][20]

Lim ran for reelection in 2010, with Vice Mayor Isko Moreno as his running mate. Together, they defeated Lim's predecessor, Atienza, and his running mate, Councilor Bonjay Isip-Garcia. However, Atienza filed an electoral protest, citing discrepancies in the election returns and the consolidation and canvassing system.[21] He later dropped his protest in January 2013.

On August 23, 2010, former police officer Rolando Mendoza hijacked a tourist bus full of tourists from Hong Kong in order to make demands on the government about a case against him at the Ombudsman that led to his dismissal from service. The government's failure to negotiate properly with Mendoza led to the killing of eight hostages and of Mendoza himself after almost ten hours of stand-off. Justice Secretary Leila De Lima was tasked to lead an investigation on the incident and determine whose negligence led to the tragedy. Her committee, the Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC), found out that there were lapses on the part of Lim that led to the failed resolution of the hostage-drama, thereby recommending the filing of administrative and criminal cases against him and other officials. Malacañang, however, declared Lim's liability was neglect of duty and misconduct. But, according to a report conducted by the late DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo that was released in April 2013, he was found to have been "administratively liable" for the incident.[22]

In 2013, he sought another term as mayor, with actor and 6th District Councilor Lou Veloso as his running mate but they were defeated by Estrada and Moreno, respectively.[23]

Later career[edit]

From 2004 to 2010 during his term as a Senator, Lim anchored the public service radio program Katapat: Mayor Fred Lim at DZMM of ABS-CBN's DZMM. With his team onboard researcher Joseph Arcaya, Executive Producer Dingdong Marco, DZMM Station Manager Angelo Palmones, and attorney Rey Bagatsing, the radio program helped solve many unsolved cases which became the last resort of the victims of crimes not only in Metro Manila but the entire Philippines. He also anchored Aksyon Ngayon, also on DZMM, with Kaye Dacer.[24]

In 2015, Lim returned to the radio airwaves as co-anchor of Katapat at Karancho, 8TriMedia's morning commentary program aired on DZRJ-AM.

In the 2016 mayoral elections, Lim ran again for mayor of Manila against the incumbent Joseph Estrada, who replaced him in 2013. He chose 1st district congressman Benjamin Asilo and later 5th district councilor Ali Atienza as his running mate for vice mayor, respectively.[25] He lost to Estrada by a margin of 2,800 votes.[26]

Lim attempted another comeback as mayor and ran in the 2019 elections, chasing a fifth non-consecutive term against Estrada again and his former vice-mayor Isko Moreno. However, Lim placed third and Moreno emerged as the winner in the three-way race of notable candidates.

Lim, when not under the banner of a national political party, used the "Kapayapaan, Kaunlaran at Katarungan" (transl. Peace, Prosperity and Justice) label, the party he founded to stand for election.[27]


The Philippine flag near the Manila City Hall was flown at half-mast following Lim's death.

On August 8, 2020, Lim died[28] after having tested positive for COVID-19 during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines.[29][30][31] He was confined in a government-run hospital in Manila prior to his death.[32] His remains were then cremated[33] and on August 29, were inurned at the Manila North Cemetery.[34]

In popular culture[edit]

Lim has appeared in films and television series. He was also portrayed by different actors in several films.


  1. ^ Original term until June 30, 2010; resigned on June 30, 2007, to sit as Manila mayor.


  1. ^ Santos, Reynaldo Jr. (February 25, 2016). "FAST FACTS: Poll candidates who faced disqualification due to citizenship issues". Rappler. Archived from the original on November 23, 2018. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  2. ^ "PNP mourns death of ex-DILG secretary Alfredo Lim". Retrieved August 14, 2020.
  3. ^ Orosa, Rosalinda L. (May 14, 2013). "Erap wins Manila mayoralty race". The Philippine Star. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
  4. ^ Lopez, Tony (June 10, 2016). "Erap's Hairline Victory". Manila Standard. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
  5. ^ "Isko Moreno defeats Manila's old mayors". CNN Philippines. May 13, 2019. Archived from the original on March 5, 2020. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  6. ^ Balagtas See, Aie (June 4, 2018). "'Dirty Harry' joins 'The Punisher'". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Archived from the original on July 21, 2018. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  7. ^ "Alfredo Ko Lim Sr. (c.1906 - 1929)". Retrieved September 6, 2020.
  8. ^ "Mayor Lim won't help son in drug case". ABS-CBN News. March 18, 2008. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
  9. ^ Uy, Jerald (April 28, 2013). "Lim a credit grabber – Isko". Rappler. Retrieved July 9, 2022.
  11. ^ "PNP asks Lim: Recall 'open-Mendiola policy'". GMA Network. July 16, 2007. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
  12. ^ Macairan, Evelyn (August 12, 2007). "No more bars, restos at Baywalk". The Philippine Star. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
  13. ^ "Lim to BF: Enter Manila at your own risk",; accessed October 23, 2017.
  14. ^ "Mayor Lim's son, two others arrested in PDEA buy-bust ops". ABS-CBN News. March 16, 2008. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
  15. ^ "Councilor files raps vs Lim, Manila execs before CHR". GMA Network. July 17, 2008. Retrieved October 25, 2017.
  16. ^ "24 Manila dads leave committees over slaughterhouse row". GMA Network. July 15, 2008. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
  17. ^ "Lim resigns as PMP president". ABS-CBN News. August 21, 2008. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
  18. ^ Legaspi, Amita (August 21, 2008). "Liberal Party woos back Lim". GMA Network. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
  19. ^ Araneta, Sandy (April 29, 2010). "New Sta. Ana hospital inaugurated". The Philippine Star. Retrieved July 9, 2022.
  20. ^ Santos, Pat (May 3, 2021). "Fred Lim credited for 'Covid hospital'". Daily Tribune. Retrieved July 9, 2022.
  21. ^ Corsino, Nikko (November 17, 2010). "Atienza files election protest against rival Lim". GMA Network. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
  22. ^ Aries Rufo (April 22, 2013). "Lim liable for Luneta bloodbath - Robredo report". Retrieved October 14, 2018.
  23. ^ "Erap is new Manila mayor, defeats Lim by slim margin". The Philippine Star. May 15, 2013. Retrieved September 6, 2020.
  24. ^ "Sowing seeds of hope". The Philippine Star. September 23, 2006.
  25. ^ Tayao-Juego, Annelle (May 5, 2016). "Alfredo Lim's 'junked' running mate warns him of LP punishment". Philippine Daily Inquirer.
  26. ^ "Lim sets comeback". Journal Online. Archived from the original on February 2, 2017. Retrieved October 25, 2017.
  27. ^ "Lim rallies support for du30's drug war | Journal Online". September 22, 2018. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
  28. ^ "Ex-Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim dies at 90". CNN Philippines. August 8, 2020. Retrieved August 8, 2020.
  29. ^ "Ex-Manila mayor Lim confined to hospital after contracting coronavirus". Philippine Daily Inquirer. August 8, 2020. Retrieved August 8, 2020.
  30. ^ "Ex-Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim contracts COVID-19". Manila Bulletin. August 8, 2020. Retrieved August 8, 2020.
  31. ^ "Former Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim catches COVID-19". CNN Philippines. August 8, 2020. Retrieved August 8, 2020.
  32. ^ "Former Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim passes away". Tempo. August 8, 2020. Retrieved August 8, 2020.
  33. ^ "Arlington chapel shares photos of Mayor Alfredo Lim's cremation rites". GMA News. August 9, 2020. Retrieved August 30, 2020.
  34. ^ Pedrajas, Joseph Almer (August 29, 2020). "Former Manila mayor Alfredo Lim is laid to rest". Manila Bulletin. Retrieved August 30, 2020.
  35. ^ a b c d "Montano stars in 4th Alfredo Lim biopic". ABS-CBN News. October 22, 2012. Retrieved August 9, 2020.
  36. ^ Dormiendo, Justino (November 22, 1989). "Mudslinging Sotto, Gunslinging Lapid". National Midweek. Lagda Publishing Inc. p. 29. Retrieved June 8, 2021.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Mayor of Manila
1992 – 1998
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Antonio M. Carpio
Director of the National Bureau of Investigation
1989 – 1992
Succeeded by
Preceded by Secretary of the Interior and Local Government
2000 – 2001
Succeeded by
Preceded by Mayor of Manila
2007 – 2013
Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by Liberal Party nominee for President of the Philippines
Title next held by
Benigno Aquino III