Lim’s 4th biopic opens before campaign period

Jerald Uy

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The idea for the movie on Alfredo Lim's life was developed after former President Joseph Estrada formalized plans to challenge him for the post of Manila mayor

Photo by Jerald Uy

MANILA, Philippines — In between zombies and witches, an array of posters in a mall across Manila City Hall screams the name of its incumbent mayor, who is gunning for re-election.

They are not campaign posters, but could be bordering on those. They are promotional materials for the eponymous film that will open in theaters on Wednesday, February 27. 

“Alfredo S. Lim: The Untold Story,” the fourth biopic about Lim, stars Cesar Montano, who also directed it. The first 3 starred popular action stars Rudy Fernandez, Eddie Garcia, and Ramon Revilla.

Development of the latest film started in June last year with Montano accompanying Lim in Hospicio de San Jose as part of his research. A month before that, former President Joseph Estrada filed to transfer his residency to Manila to challenge Lim for the mayoral post.

The movie will be shown more than a month ahead of the official start of the campaign period for local posts on March 29. Once the campaign starts, Comelec will prohibit movies or documentaries “portraying the life or biography of a candidate, or in which a character is portrayed by an actor or media personality who is himself a candidate.”

Watch the trailer here:


Lim downplayed criticisms that the movie is a propaganda vehicle for his bid for re-election. “Wag na haluan ng pulitika ang paggawa ng pelikula (Don’t attribute politics to this film),” the mayor said in a media release.

As for Montano, he said in recent interviews that he found inspiring Lim’s life story as an abandoned child, a different persona from his “tough guy” image.

“In the movie, we will have a better insight into the character of the mayor. His roots, the travails and tragedies he faced even as a child, and all these events that led to him turning up to be the great man that he is today,” Montano said in a press release.

The movie has garnered mixed reactions on the web. Youtube user “TheArtKaw” commented on the trailer: “Propaganda at its lowest. Why do all Pinoy politicians have a Jesus complex?”

Another Youtube user posted “Iboboto pa rin kita basta linisin mo na ang Maynila (I will still vote for you if you clean up Manila).”

A Twitter user expressed support for the movie:


Isko: Good Luck!

Asked if the movie could help Lim level the playing field in terms of popularity against former President Joseph Estrada in the mayoral race, incumbent Vice Mayor and Estrada’s running mate Isko Moreno said: “Good luck! I wish them well.”

Moreno said he will not watch the movie as he is still waiting for the development of their cases filed against the cops who arrested him and 5 councilors for sponsoring a bingo game last February 16. The justice department now handles the complaints to shield these from partisan influences of local prosecutors.

Lim and Moreno have traded barbs over the arrests which the vice mayor believes was ordered by Lim. – 


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