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Alfredo Lim is in hot waters. Visibly irked by the accusations that he is not a natural born citizen, he bangs his fist on the podium during a hearing of his case in a COMELEC office. The Constitution requires that the President of the Philippines be a natural born citizen. He points to the administration party supporters as the mastermind of this demolition job against him. He singles out National Security Adviser Jose Almonte as the brains behind all these.

Lim has been branded as the "Dirty Harry" of Manila. He earned the title because of his fearless campaign against the violators of the law. He is famous for having used force and violence in confronting criminals, drug pushers, and drug lords. Asked why he resorts to the way of force, he replies, "The language known by criminals and law violators is force and violence. You can not be soft to them." Human rights advocates reacted strongly against his "spray campaign." Lim and his men went around the city of Manila spraying the walls of the house of suspected drug pushers with "Drug pusher ang nakatira dito. Alis diyan!"

A keen observer will certainly notice a twist in Alfredo Lim’s political career. It is interesting to note that the Liberal Party endorsed him. Despite the issues on human rights violations raised against him by detractors, he enjoys the endorsement of Cardinal Jaime Sin and former President Corazon Aquino. Some people remember Lim as having dispersed the crowd at EDSA upon orders from Marcos. They say that Lim only defected from the Marcos side only when he saw that the latter was losing the battle.

The Sin-Aquino endorsement of Lim makes people wonder whether the EDSA personalities have pondered upon the kind of government we may have under "Dirty Harry" Lim.

Two groups have already filed petitions before the COMELEC asking that Lim be disqualified from running for the presidency on the grounds that he is not a natural born citizen. The first to file a petition was lawyer Andresito Fornier, and the second is the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP). The IBP said its motive was to avoid any constitutional crisis should Lim win the presidency. In defending his citizenship, Lim has apparently begun to manifest the softer side of his person, breaking into tears in a television interview.

He revealed that he was born out of wedlock and was taken to Hospicio de San Jose to be taken cared of by the nuns. There he spent the first eight years of his life.

And one can immediately predict what happened next. Lim worked his way into high school and college. Now that sounds like a rag-to-riches type of story which we hear told by many candidates who want to endear themselves to the hearts of the masses.

Of course, Lim’s primary intention in revealing his otherwise hidden childhood story is to defend his being a natural born citizen. But that does not keep us from wondering whether he will earn the sympathy of the masa whose hearts are said to go out to the oppressed, thereby supporting them too. Nora Aunor, for example, who always played the underdog captured the hearts of mass moviegoers.

Dirty Harry Lim, the victimizer, is now the victim of what he calls dirty politics? Any bettors?

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Christian Action for Peaceful and Meaningful Elections
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