Monday, March 17, 2008


Although Mayor Lim does not intend to lift a finger to help his 44-year-old son Manny -- who was arrested in a drug sting operation in Manila's downtown Sta. Cruz district over the weekend -- I'm sure the incident has nonetheless devastated him and his entire family. My heart goes out to them.

I am one of those who truly admire the mayor's tireless efforts to reduce, if not completely eradicate, the city's crime rate.
In a telephone interview with TV morning news host Pinky Webb this morning, the mayor who was once a police chief and famed for his ruthless crackdown on crime, said that from the onset, he had had been molding each one of his children to lead exemplary lives. Unlike the other children who boast of being "untouchables" just because their parents are members of the law enforcement forces. "The law applies to all, or to none at all," the mayor quipped.

Moreover, he stated that there shall be no sacred cows and no special favors accorded to his son who is old enough to face the consequences of his actions; thus, should be treated like any ordinary citizen who has been arrested for having committed a serious crime.

The mayor's son Manny Lim, a businessman, was arrested along with two others in a hotel on Tomas Mapua Street by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) operatives. Reportedly seized from them were 100 grams of metamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu worth P600,000. They will be charged for violating Section 5 (Sale of Dangerous Drugs) in relation to Section 26-b (Conspiracy to Sell Dangerous Drugs), Article II of RA 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

Hopefully, Mayor Lim's admirable stance will become a wake up call to all government officials and members of various law enforcement agencies to shun the practice of shielding relatives and friends from facing the consequences of their criminal actions however petty.

* * *

Related link:

Mayor Fred Lim’s son arrested for drug raps - The Manila Times


posted by Señor Enrique at 7:44 AM


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, the irony of life. And the interview made it even more ironical with Pinky Webb doing the phone interview with Mayor Lim. To remind us - Pinky's brother Hubert is now languishing in jail for the much celebrated Vizconde rape/massacre. The father, then Sen. Freddie Webb did all he could to protect his son and save him from conviction, but to no avail.

Indeed, Mayor Lim should set an example to all government officials. I join you in saluting him.

March 17, 2008 8:36 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Whoa! How ironic, indeed, Rhoda. I have no idea about this Vizconde rape/massacre incident. Thanks for sharing!

I had just googled it and came up with this:


n his testimony Robert Heafner, the former legal attaché of the Federal Bureau of Investigation assigned to the US Embassy in Manila, said that on December 27, 1991, or six months after the Vizconde murders, then NBI director and now Sen. Alfredo Lim and then NBI Assistant Director Epí­maco Velasco came to his office at the US Embassy to verify Hubert Webb’s presence in the US.


Mayor Lim was then the NBI director at that time!

Anyway, Mayor Lim, whenever I run into him at events/photo ops, always appears to be a warm and accessible high ranking government official. He would always gladly oblige the peoples' requests for a photo to be taken with him.

And with his son's arrest, though he remains steadfast with his policy on crime, I'm sure was a painful turn of event for him as a father.

March 17, 2008 9:12 AM  

Blogger Sidney said...

I am quite a cynic... to see is to believe... I would be surprised if his son would be treated as a petty shabu dealer and languish for long in (city) jail.
Lets wait and see. Politicians in general excel in double speak...

Which father wouldn't lift a finger to help his own son?

March 17, 2008 10:46 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Even if he wanted to help, Sidney, it might be too late at this point.

From what I heard, here in the Philippines, if the arresting operatives were corrupt, everything could be "settled quietly" within the couple of hours following the arrest. It'd also help if the aggrieved party is amenable and cash-hungry.

But since this has attained widespread media coverage -- not to mention that the mayor is a well-known anti-administration politician -- it might be tough for his son to beat this rap even with his help. It might also seriously tarnish Mayor's Lim illustrious career, now that it's at its twilight period, so to speak.

Be that as it may, as you said, "let's wait and see."

Incidentally, just heard in the news that Mayor Lim is ready to spray paint the house of his son Manny as the "residence of a drug pusher."

March 17, 2008 12:05 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The city mayor spray paints the residence of drug pushers? After or before conviction? How long is the identifying paint required to be kept? Is this legal?

March 17, 2008 12:30 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Mayor Lim is ready to spray paint the house of his son Manny as the "residence of a drug pusher.""

Ohhh... that must be a very painful thing to do - to prosecute your own child. :(

March 17, 2008 12:39 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Not sure about the mechanics of Mayor's Lim policy of spray painting the houses of drug lords and pushers, BertN. But he began this policy when he was previously Manila's mayor before he ran for the Senate.

March 17, 2008 1:09 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I think Mayor Lim's indifference may be borne out of exasperation with his recalcitrant son, Rhoda. He said he wanted to teach him a lesson once and for all.

According to news reports, he hasn't been on speaking terms with him for many months now. His son supposedly had turned for the worse since his wife and children left him. He also refused to accept the help that the mayor and his other children tried to offer in the past for his rehabilitation.

March 17, 2008 1:14 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As far as I know, there is a city ordinance authorizing the mayor to conduct this 'shame' campaign of spray painting houses of drug pushers.

I think there was a complaint lodged against this shame campaign as violation to human rights, but what I gathered is by the time it reached the Court of Appeals, Mayor Lim was no longer the mayor, and the CA ruled against the campaign, apparently by technicality, on default from Lim's side for failure to submit their comment on the case.

March 17, 2008 1:16 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Thanks, for this information, Rhoda!

March 17, 2008 1:20 PM  

Blogger -= dave =- said...

Mayor Lim belongs to a fast vanishing generation of politicians. His only fault would be the heavy-handed actions that make bleeding hearts of human rights advocates bleed more.

March 17, 2008 2:06 PM  

Blogger  gmirage said...

I do remember the shame campaign...though it is like a schoolteacher's way of disciplining the child when they are made to write repeatedly 'I will not cheat again.' I think its effective in some way...Why don't the jaywalkers get a penalty by wearing a tshirt that says 'I am a Jaywalker, don't be like me' lol....kidding!

I agree, it would be hard for the Mayor, as the father, to be shamed like this, but if he is a caring father of course he would let his son learn the lesson than made him run away from the law.

March 17, 2008 7:05 PM  

Blogger nutart said...

I usually try to see beyond the press releases of politicians and other public figures. I would use to write them kasi as was one of my many sidelines. So, they're really all hype! You can smell it a mile away :-). But since you give salute to Alfredo Lim, this makes me take notice of him. I know the tragedy of parents losing a child to drugs. I have witnessed a friend lost his brilliant career and productive life when he discovered shabu. (He was in advertising and usually because of the high pay, they go into drugs.) I really could not talk to him anymore without him suspecting everything about my "agenda"...he was really paranoid! Grabe! I really felt sorry for him and aghast at the effect of shabu on anyone.

This story about his son's arrest makes Mayor Lim really worthy to be called Mayor.

March 17, 2008 7:35 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Perhaps, Dave, the major fault of Filipinos is spiritual immaturity; hence, despite their inherent intelligence and age, they seem to act childish or spoiled brats.

And this may be the reason why Mayor Lim sometimes have to resort to such measures which raised the eyebrows of human rights activists.

March 17, 2008 9:16 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I know not personally of any locals addicted to shabu, Bernadette, but in New York, I knew of some with cocaine and crack addictions.

All of them possessed sterling educational and professional achievements. But somehow the power of their addiction was way too overwhelming. Tragic cases they were.

March 17, 2008 9:20 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

"I do remember the shame campaign...though it is like a schoolteacher's way of disciplining the child when they are made to write repeatedly I will not cheat again."

As I've just responded to Dave's comment, Gizelle, it may be because the Filipinos are basically spiritually-immatured.

March 17, 2008 9:23 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Presidential election is just around the corner. I hope this is not a political stunt.

Mali po ba ako Senor Enrique?

March 17, 2008 10:06 PM  

Blogger Urbano dela Cruz said...


Mayor Lim, his son, and his red-letter tactics aside, your last comment startled me:

"because Filipinos are basically spiritually-immatured"(sic)

How did you come to that far-reaching conclusion? I'm not saying you're wrong, but I am challenging you to prove that or explain how you got there.

And are you saying that we are less "spiritually" mature than other countries, hence our troubles?


March 18, 2008 12:36 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I don't think the mayor's decision not to assert any influence to help his son Manny is a political stunt, Mandaragat. Based on news reports, Manny rejected all efforts by family members to help him.

Supposedly, his sisters had already bought him an airline ticket just to get him out of the country so he could sort out his personal troubles away from his "barkada." And I'm sure, the mayor, as his father, had also tried to help him all along.

But as the mayor said, his son opted to keep the company of bad elements; thus, the mayor had to "wash his hands" so to speak, and allow his son to face the consequences of his thoughts and actions. As the mayor said, "Buntot niya, hila niya."

Be that as it may, political stunt or not, I'm sure, as a father, it's a painful decision for the mayor to completely let go and let God.

March 18, 2008 7:39 AM  

Blogger joyceinheels said...

Quoting rhodora:

Ohhh... that must be a very painful thing to do - to prosecute your own child. :(

My heart goes out to Mayor Lim.

March 18, 2008 8:23 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Urbano,

Firstly, the spiritual maturity I speak of relates to the mind-body-spirit unity, not at all about religiosity.

Secondly, I believe Jose Rizal's writings had expounded on the Flipinos' spiritual immaturity through his characters -- from the battered wife, Sisa, to the emotionally-inept Ibarra, who suddenly had forsaken the revolution he had concocted just because he lost the love of his life, the not-so-trustworthy Maria Clara.

Actually, one of my previous blog articles, A Day with a Cuchero ( ) was inspired by one of Rizal's characters. Here's an excerpt from which:


Now, here’s a man who appears to have a very responsible and professional attitude toward his occupation. Furthermore, in the many years he has been doing it, he has never caused any harm to any of his horses, passengers, pedestrians, or motorists. Neither has he gotten in any serious trouble with traffic enforcement officers. This man was definitely unlike Rizal’s cuchero in El Filibusterismo who caused his passenger, Basilio, much delay when he was stopped and detained by the guardia civil for having forgotten to carry his cedula (identity card) in his person. Although it was his fault, he was nevertheless embittered for getting hit with rifle butts and dragged to the barracks to face the commandant.

When released, there was another delay he and his passenger had to endure — a Christmas Eve procession. While waiting for the procession to pass, he asked Basilio, if the mythical king of the indios had almost escaped from the chains that imprisoned him, for his eventual freedom would rid the country of the guardia civil that he hated so much for hurling abuse at him and hitting him with rifle butts for his every infraction. He pledged to offer his horse and meager possessions to the king for that day when the king would save him from such unmerciful acts by the guardia civil.

After the procession had finally passed, the cuchero was stopped a second time that evening by another guardia civil. This time, it was because the rig’s light had gone out. A rain of insults fell upon the poor cuchero who tried in vain to explain that the procession had lasted too long; making his rig’s light burn out its entire fuel.

As I delve more into our local history, the more I am led to believe that Rizal’s two novels — Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo — were not simply a scathing indictment against the abuses of the friars, but also an exposure of the Filipino frailties; in this case, the incompetence and lack of spiritual maturity as demonstrated by this cuchero. Leaving his identity card at home and not carrying an extra supply of fuel for his rig’s light were enough to prove his incompetence. Moreover, instead of looking inward to correct his erroneous ways, this cuchero would rather pin his hope of deliverance from the cruelty of the guardia civil on some mythical king.

Had he been more mindful of his responsibilities, he could have been more vigilant to carry his identity card with him at all times, as well as carry an extra supply of oil for his rig’s lamp. In so doing, he would have prevented getting arrested, hit with rifle butts, or verbally abused by the more competent guardia civil who perform their duty more diligently.


Unfortunately, the characters of Jose Rizal remain prevalent in today's Philippines. I see them everyday -- from the jolly jaywalkers of the university belt area to the powerful politicians and oligarchs featured in our local newspapers (who have replaced the Spaniards as the country's new "masters").

As compared to the other countries, check out the group of men who authored America's declaration of independence and compare it with efforts by some of the groups of Filipinos from Rizal's time who craved for "change" but were met instead with internal strife -- mostly betrayals and crab mentality -- and then compare such efforts with the Philippines so-called leaders of today.

If one would want to know more about the Filipinos' spiritual immaturity, may I suggest Margarita Hamada's excellent book, "Swatting the Spanish Flies."

March 18, 2008 8:26 AM  

Blogger nutart said...

this is a very insightful response you gave, Eric! Yes, i too have been quite fascinated with Rizal's masterpieces the Noli and Fili and see so many levels of looking into Filipino society and psyche. Thanks for the quotes!

And yes, for me spirituality and religiosity can be quite different. Religiosity can be void of spirituality because of the excessive focus on mere rituals. A lot of manangs and manongs ( in all denominations) spout the bible like parrots and leave you shaking your head about their sense of fellowship and One-ness with All. Well, so called spiritual searchers can miss the point too. But then without having to look like a "judge" myself, I can say that my intuitive faculties have always proven me right. A lot of Filipinos bigwigs try to look "spiritual" through photo ops. The "respectable" landowners here go to Sunday Mass devotedly but in the guise of just being seen in their "Sunday best" but stop traffic just so they get out of their vans leisurely. Our nearby elderly developer/haciendero here dares visitors on a debate on whether there is a God or not knowing his mortality is just around the corner but swears to high heavens when his opinions and policies around are confronted face-on. I know, because my husband usually is the only one who makes him sees the illegality of his policies. :-)
When you talk about spiritual immaturity, Eric, you really have to choose your audience. In the eyes of the mainstream religiousity, we are the heretics and the damned!

March 18, 2008 9:09 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

"When you talk about spiritual immaturity, Eric, you really have to choose your audience. In the eyes of the mainstream religiousity, we are the heretics and the damned!"

Sadly, Bernadette, the church I was exposed to from as a kid was riddled with hypocrisy and shameless struggle for power. It wasn't until I studied in New York that I felt the freedom to explore the true spirituality that is within me -- and us all, as well.

March 18, 2008 9:35 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

This has got to be a challenging time for the entire Lim family, Lady in Red.

March 18, 2008 9:38 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pardon me, Eric, I have to say my piece again.

I've heard some people judge Mayor Lim's exacting an iron hand on his son as "political gimmickry".

And then also, when former Speaker Joe de Venecia's daughter KC died in that fatal fire that razed their family home, I received a text message from a friend, saying: Karma.

What have we become now - a nation of cynics? Politicians, no matter how corrupt they may be - are also humans.

March 18, 2008 10:34 AM  

Blogger Panaderos said...

It is never easy when one tries to do the right thing all the time. I'm sure that Mayor Lim's heart bleeds at this time for his son.

March 18, 2008 2:38 PM  

Blogger Urbano dela Cruz said...

"Unfortunately, the characters of Jose Rizal remain prevalent in today's Philippines. I see them everyday -- from the jolly jaywalkers of the university belt area to the powerful politicians and oligarchs featured in our local newspapers (who have replaced the Spaniards as the country's new "masters").

"As compared to the other countries, check out the group of men who authored America's declaration of independence and compare it with efforts by some of the groups of Filipinos from Rizal's time who craved for "change" but were met instead with internal strife -- mostly betrayals and crab mentality -- and then compare such efforts with the Philippines so-called leaders of today."

That's really an unfair comparison, Enrique. Apples to oranges.

Rizal wrote a morality play - and as such, his foil characters were all archetypes of what was wrong in society. They were villains and moral lessons of what not to follow.

To call them out and say "look they still exist" and then say "compare them to the framers of the US constitution" are logical fallacies,and is pretty much loading the dice against your own people.

Of course they still exist. They are archetypes. -are those archetypes definitive and exclusively filipino?

Just look at the recent parade of greed in the US - Enron, Qwest, Blackwater, the corruption in Iraq, the failures in New Orleans, the sex abuse scandals of the RC -and you know those archetypes are universal.

If you are going to say "look at the framers of their constitution" then you must call out the writers of the Katipunan's Kartilya. Or Mabini. Or Rizal himself and use them as comparison.

If there is any fault of our culture, it is that we are endless belly-gazers. Picking on the lint of our supposed infirmities.

That's mostly the fault of opinion leaders. We like tearing down our heroes and tearing down ourselves. Morbid self-deprecation.

Is that better than the culture of hero worship in the US where historic figures are completely whitewashed and the historic narrative is cast in black and white? The hero worship drowns out the memory of the genocide of the american natives, the lynch mobs of the deep south. Where the death of thousands of Filipinos are noted in but one or two sentences in HS textbooks referring to the "Philippine Insurgency."

I'm not putting down the US. It has many qualities we should aspire for. I am instead, challenging our self-absorption. We are neither inferior nor superior to any culture. We come, as all humans do, with frailties and strengths.

Are we "spiritually immature" -by which, I seem to think you mean "childish" - yes. But no more than any other culture.

Could we stand more discipline and improvement. Yes. As do other cultures and other countries.

"love thy neighbor as you love yourself" -we are called. That means acknowledging that our feet are clay, like our neighbor's, but also that our hands are gold, like our neighbors.

I do not mean to argue with you. I know you mean well and have the best intentions. I know you love our country and our people. It shines through in your photographs and your posts.

I just have a visceral reaction to our penchant for putting down ourselves.

Please, no more of this harmful meme of "look how were not as good as the others."

Perhaps when we begin to celebrate the good in us, we can begin to re-imagine the best in us.


March 18, 2008 10:18 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

"What have we become now - a nation of cynics? Politicians, no matter how corrupt they may be - are also humans."

I guess, some folks are tired of hearing endless accusations of corruption being hurled by politicians against their fellow politicians, while seeing so much poverty at the same time, especially in the provinces, Rhoda.

March 19, 2008 6:32 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I agree with you, Panaderos. It must be very tough for the mayor and his family at this time.

March 19, 2008 7:00 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

And to borrow from Mike Myer's Linda Richman character, Urbano, let's now allow our fellow bloggers to talk among themselves about this issue :)

March 19, 2008 7:27 AM  

Blogger ScroochChronicles said...

I've always admired Mayor Lim. He seems like a very straightforward kinda guy who doesn't mince words. We used to be neighbors in Fairview (not exactly next door but in the same vicinity) when he was still with the PC. Even then we were hearing stories about how tough he was. Everything was either black or white. Walang gray sa kanya. Feeling ko nga that's exactly what the Philippines needs. Someone who can say things the way they way they should be said. Kawawa na lang ang matamaan kung guilty ka.

BTW, he used to go jogging with an entire coterie of canines. If I remember right, they were huge german shepherds (or dobermans ata). The kind used as police dogs.

March 19, 2008 8:25 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I like the positive changes that have taken place in Manila since Mayor Lim resumed office, Cookie. And I am looking forward for plenty more :)

March 19, 2008 8:44 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Which father wouldn't lift a finger to help his own son?"

A father who puts his country before himself and those he loves.

March 19, 2008 8:14 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Excellent point, Yuki!

March 19, 2008 10:26 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yuki, as mentioned in Senor Enrique's (March 18, 7:39a) comment, Mayor Lim and other family members have tried (countless times) to help Manuel. What more can Mayor Lim do if his son refuses to help himself as well as accept help from others? Mayor Lim's country is very important to him but please do not assume he puts it before his family.

March 20, 2008 1:38 AM  

Blogger Cross020 said...

I think what we lack is moral responsibility. People tend tend to forget that we have the responsibility to be morally upright in the eyes of those we serve. Be it our bosses, our companies or the people who chose us to lead them.

Be it a political stunt or not, prosecuting your own son for a crime he committed is a show of Mayor Lim's moral commitment to his position and to the people who elected him.

March 21, 2008 9:51 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my.. You all are a bunch of nincompoops.. including you Senor enrique.. Just FYI, Manny was given a 400K bail out.. Now, how can your dear mayor justify that?? It was obviously a marketing stint to rid his name from any involvement that may cause harm on his name.. realistically though, I dont think he stuck by his word. Also FYI, your dear Mayor has a very good marketing team that they spin shit and make it appear as if its gold.. You are certainly fooled.. Look for your dear mayor senor enrique.. he is in the US to look for his hidden treasures.. the treasures that his stauch supporter " Mr. Turing" hid.. unfortunately though, after his death a few weeks ago, your dear mayor found out that his money worth Billions of pesos were named after Mang Turing's sons.. God knows were those money were hidden.. If you dont believe that he is capable to actually do such, why not look into what transpired with Mr. George Go.. all his properties including the one in Forbes Park and iin the US are now named under your dear Mayor.. All things reveal in time.. The stench that comes from your dear mayor's closet is coming out.. How I pray people like you starts waking up...

May 19, 2008 6:07 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Wow! That's some serious accusation/revelation, Anonymous!

If all true, then we all certainly got fooled.

May 19, 2008 7:26 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lim is so good with the media. And perfectly hiding his true identity in the process. Let's not forget what happened with the salvaging of Don Pepe Oyson who was a close and dear friend of Mayor Lim.

He was part of Lim's syndicate but when he was about to squeal, he was brutally murdered. this goes the same with the Prudente Ambush, Magallanes triple murder, Fiscal Lota's Assasination and don't forget Rodolfo Herrera, Lean Alejandro, Major Jimmy Victorino. All of whom were salvaged by Lim and his men and all of whom were his friends.

The truth about all this is he was part of the syndication. When things don't go according to his plan, he kills his own men, goes out in the media saying they're pushers, and he ends up popular and seemingly untainted.

But all of Lim is just a lie from his childhood until now... He's a two faced hoodlum and should retire...

January 13, 2009 7:18 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


About Me

Name: Señor Enrique
Location: Manila, Philippines

View my complete profile

This is a Flickr badge showing photos in a set called Flickr Badge. Make your own badge here.
Señor Enrique Home
Designed by The Dubai Chronicles.
All rights and lefts reserved.