THE family of Mayor Fred Lim and this writer are profusely thankful for all the love, support, respect and recognition being accorded by Mayor Isko Moreno and Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna for the late Hizzoner.
Unknown to many, the city’s top two executives, along with Dr. Grace Padilla, chief of the Sta. Ana Hospital, have been personally involved the moment Mayor Lim was taken to the Sta. Ana Hospital.
Mayor Kois personally monitored Mayor Lim’s condition and even tasked Dr. Padilla to update him of developments from time to time. Ditto with Vice Honey.
When Mayor Lim was said to have requested for ‘sinigang na isda’ on the first night he spent there, Mayor Kois and Vice Mayor Honey began asking around where they can order since the metro is on MECQ.
Vice Mayor Honey then decided to take matters into her own hand. She requested her mom, Tita Inday, to cook for her ‘VIP’ patient. Tita Inday is such a good cook as in fact, she used to run a restaurant which served food that used her recipes. Vice Honey’s sister Lei was also on hand to help in the cooking. Tita Gemma, Mayor Lim’s beloved wife, said he liked and finished the entire dish which she fed him. When Vice Honey again requested her mom and sister to cook on the following day, both got very curious of course who her VIP patient was but Vice Honey merely said ‘ah basta.’
When Mayor Lim passed on, Mayor Kois wasted no time and ordered the lights at the City Hall’s iconic clock tower switched off in deference to Mayor Lim’s demise. He also went on live broadcast to extol Mayor Lim and what he did for the city as a four-term mayor and even called on the youngsters to emulate him, while vowing to immortalize him.
There, Mayor Kois particularly cited Mayor Lim for building five of the six city-run hospitals providing free medical services for indigents and the City College of Manila (now Universidad de Manila) which offers free tertiary education to poor but deserving students. Lim also built two evacuation centers, one in Baseco and another in Delpan which is now being used as a quarantine facility.
The Philippine flag was also flown at half-mast following the regular flag-raising ceremony in City Hall, still on orders of Mayor Kois.
Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna, on the other hand, announced that the Manila City Council which she heads as its presiding officer, unanimously passed a resolution citing Mayor Lim’s landmark programs in terms of livelihood, education, health, peace and order social services for the poor people of Manila.
President Pro-Tempore and Acting Presiding Officer Jong Isip said the resolution was passed as “ the city council joins the whole nation and his (Lim’s) family in their moment of bereavement over the departure of a great man and esteemed public servant.” Following this, Mayor Kois ordered that banners be put up in strategic areas all over the city. They read, thus: “Maraming Salamat Po Sa 50 Taong Serbisyo Sa Aming Mga Batang Maynila, KGG. Alfredo S. Lim.” Atop these are the words, “38 Taon sa Kapulisan…12 Taon Bilang Alkalde.”
Indeed, a fitting recognition for someone who spent 50 out of the total of 58 years of his prime or more than half his life, serving the city of Manila and its citizens as well.
Mayor Lim was born and grew up in Manila. He began his 38-year career as a public servant in the field of law enforcement by entering the then Manila Police Department, where he rose from the ranks until he became the chief of the very police force which gave him countless opportunities to become a decorated police officer, building a name and a reputation as the nemesis of the underworld elements.
In 1992, Lim failed to resist public clamor, ran for mayor and won handily. He served from 1992 to 1998 and again, from 2007 to 2013, leaving behind a legacy that continues to be unmatched in the entire nation.
For sometime after leaving City Hall, receiving information that the medical services and college were no longer totally free thus affecting the poor of Manila adversely caused him a lot of worry.
Now, I am certain Mayor Lim can rest in total peace, assured in the fact that all his programs intended to benefit the poor are now being sustained, once again, by Mayor Kois who, just like Lim, is also a product of poverty.
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