Lim wants jogging, Erap eyes boxing as fitness test
Jose Rodel Clapano (The Philippine Star) - October 13, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Former Manila mayor Alfredo Lim, 85, challenged his rivals, led by 78-year-old Mayor Joseph Estrada, to go jogging with him to prove they remain healthy and can still lead the city government.

Lim issued the challenge as he filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) with the Commission on Elections office in Arroceros, Manila.

“I walked from the monuments of (former President) Cory (Aquino) and Ninoy (Aquino). Let’s fight by jogging. That is the trouble when people are concentrated on throwing mud at others,” Lim told reporters.

The monuments are at the intersection of P. Burgos street and Roxas Boulevard.

Lim, who is running under the banner of the Liberal Party (LP), said he decided to run again for mayor of Manila because he cannot stomach seeing the city government being handled by “plunderer and a liar.”

He belied allegations that he left the city government bankrupt, saying that while Manila had debts, the money he left with the city treasurer’s office, deposited in the Land Bank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines, was P770 million.

“What bankruptcy he is talking about? A plunderer is the brother of a liar,” Lim said in Filipino, adding that he has been in public service for 54 years and has never been charged with stealing money from the government.

Estrada was convicted of plunder and pardoned shortly afterward by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Lim vowed to return the programs to provide free hospitalization and medicine as well as free college education for residents, all of which he said he instituted.

He also criticized Estrada’s policy of having private firms rehabilitate and run public markets, saying that a public market rehabilitated by a private firm cannot impose low rates because the firm is concerned over profits.

Lim also said real estate taxes, which he kept to a minimal level, were increased by 300 percent when he left city hall.

Fund-raising fight

Estrada, on the other hand, said Lim’s challenge to go jogging is “too light” and “for the oldies.”

He challenged Lim to a fund-raising boxing or mixed martial arts fight “with or without gloves” as he shadow-boxed in front of reporters during a press conference.

Estrada also junked suggestions for him to have a debate with Lim, saying he had already defeated his rival in a debate in 2013.

He insisted that based on a Commission on Audit report, Lim left the city bankrupt in 2013 with P3.5 billion unremitted to the Bureau of Internal Revenue, P800 million in unpaid power bills and over P600 million in unpaid water bills.

As for his plunder conviction, Estrada said the Catholic Church and the late former President Corazon Aquino vindicated him when they publicly apologized to him.

He wished Lim “good luck” and that he was being “kind to old men.”

Estrada is scheduled to file his COC today.

ACIRC ALFREDO LIM AQUINO BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE CATHOLIC CHURCH ESTRADA FORMER MANILA LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES AND THE DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES LIBERAL PARTY LIM MAYOR JOSEPH ESTRADA
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