Danilo Lim

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To read this article in Filipino, see Danilo Lim.

Danilo "Danny" Delapuz Lim (2 June 1955- 6 January 2021) was a retired Filipino soldier who served as chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) from 2017 until his death in 2021. He was incarcerated at Camp Crame in Quezon City from 2006 to 2010 for rebellion charges and an attempted coup d'état. After more than 4 years in prison, Lim was granted temporary freedom by the Armed Forces of the Philippines on 31 May 2010.

Biography

Early Life

Lim was born on 2 June 1955, in Solano, Nueva Vizcaya, the youngest of five brothers. His father, He Yia Lim, was a Chinese rice trader whose roots can be traced back to Xiamen, China, while his mother, Catalina Delapuz, is from Bohol. The older Lim died when Danilo was still two years old.

He finished elementary and high school in Solano with flying colors. He was in his first year at the University of the Philippines when he took the entrance exams to the Philippine Military Academy. He topped the exams. Lim was a member of the Pagkakaisa Masonic Lodge No. 282, which is under the jurisdiction of The Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the Philippines.

Philippine MIlitary Academy

Lim was a member of the Philippine Military Academy Makatarungan Class 1978. He was the mistah of adopted member, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, former President of the Philippines and the former Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, General Delfin N. Bangit, AFP.

While a plebe, he took the entrance exam to the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point, one of the world's premier military academies, because of his outstanding performance as cadet. He topped the exams.

Early Career

After graduation, he returned to the country and took the Scout Ranger Course where he graduated No. 1 and led his team in registering the only encounter of the class during their test mission. He opted to be assigned to Jolo after that. He commanded the forward Recon Unit of the 1st Infantry Division in Sulu where he was wounded twice in combat.

Involvement with the Reform the Armed Forces Movement

Lim was recruited into the rightist Reform the Armed Forces Movement (RAM) during the 1980s and was involved in the People Power Revolution, but came into public knowledge during the botched 1989 Coup d'État against the Cory Aquino government. It was Lim, along with Captain Abraham Puruganan, who led the 1st Scout Ranger Regiment into what has been known as the "Siege of Makati."

Manila Peninsula Incident

On the morning of 29 November 2007, Antonio Trillanes IV, Brigadier General Lim, Capt. Nicanor Faeldon and other Magdalo officials walked out of their trial and marched through the streets of Makati, calling for the ouster of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. They then had a meeting on the second floor of The Peninsula Manila Hotel along Ayala Avenue. Former vice-president Teofisto Guingona joined the march to the Manila Peninsula Hotel, as well as some soldiers from the AFP.

Thirty soldiers who stood on trial for the 2003 Oakwood Mutiny walked out of court and set up a meeting at The Peninsula Manila Hotel, where they called for the ouster of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. They had been joined by former vice-president Teofisto Guingona, who called the gathering a "New EDSA".

Arroyo called for an emergency Cabinet meeting as she took a chopper back to the Palace amid tight security. Novaliches Catholic Bishop Antonio Tobias, Infanta Bishop Emeritus Julio Labayen, and Fr. Robert Reyes joined the Antonio Trillanes IV group, while Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita and Ignacio Bunye rushed back to Malacañang. The Presidential Security Group sealed off the Palace, while troops secured the North and South Luzon Expressways. A website forthwith appeared, proclaiming General Lim and Senator Antonio Trillanes IV as the leaders of the incident.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) gave Trillanes and Lim until 3 p.m. to surrender, as it evacuated guests and personnel inside the Manila Peninsula Hotel. Security forces were scheduled to be at the Manila Peninsula in Makati at exactly 3 p.m. to arrest rebel soldiers. Judge Oscar Pimentel, Makati Regional Trial Court, issued the arrest order, and Director Geary Barias, National Capital Region Police Office director, said arrests will be made by 3 p.m.

At least 50 Special Weapons and Tactics commandos lined up outside to assault the Manila Peninsula Hotel in Makati to enforce the arrest of rebel soldiers. Sporadic warning shots were heard from the police outside the hotel, as smoke was seen coming from the hotel seconds after the shots. At around 4:01 p.m., the Palace asked reporters to move out of the hotel, as armored personnel carriers arrived.

Firing stopped at 4:30 p.m. GMA crew, and other media personnel were trapped in the hotel, while the Palace appealed to the media and the public to stay away from Makati. Tear gas was fired into the hotel lobby as government troops advanced. Soldiers surrounded the hotel at 5 p.m.

A V150 armored car then destroyed the main facade of the Manila Peninsula Hotel to allow the troops to enter. Chief Justice Reynato Puno, who had just arrived from Guam, stated that he would not head a caretaker government if President Arroyo was removed from power, for he wants to insulate the judiciary from politics. Prominent businessmen denounced Trillanes and Lim.

Temporary Liberty

On 16 February 2010, Lim was allowed by a Makati court to post bail on a rebellion charge, along with Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and 16 other soldiers. The bail was set for P200,000 each. The bail was supposed to give them temporary liberty while the case is being heard. However, they cannot leave the prison yet.

After 4 years in detention, on 31 May 2010, Lim was granted temporary freedom by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), which approved his request to be placed under the custody of another military officer. AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Delfin Bangit also approved the grant of temporary liberty to Lim. After proper custodial procedures and medical examination were conducted, the retired Brigadier General was released 5:35 p.m. from the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center in Camp Crame in Quezon City. Lim, however, still faced a charge of violation of Article 67 (mutiny) of the Articles of War in relation to a supposed plan to grab power last February 2006. His co-accused in the 2006 case include former Marine commandant Maj. Gen. Renato Miranda and former Marine Col. Ariel Querubin. He was also charged with violation of Articles of War 63 (disrespect to the President), 96 (conduct unbecoming of an officer and a gentleman), 97 (conduct prejudicial to good order and military discipline), and 70 (escape from confinement). These charges are in connection with the November 2007 Manila Peninsula Incident.

Political Career

Senatorial Race in 2010

On 20 September 2009, Lim declared his intention to run for senator in 2010. He filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) for senator on 27 November 2009. Under existing laws, all active military and police personnel are forced to resign from the service after filing their respective certificates of candidacy for any elective posts. As a result, Lim had to leave his military position.

Lim is not allowed to get out of detention to campaign. He has also been endorsed by Senators Gregorio "Gringo" Honasan and Antonio Trillanes IV. Senator Jamby Madrigal also threw her support behind Lim.

Initially an independent candidate, he later joined the Liberal Party (LP) as a guest candidate. The LP was fielding senators Benigno Aquino III and Manuel 'Mar' Roxas II. At first, General Lim intended to run under the Magdalo Para Sa Pagbabago, but the Commission on Elections denied the group's accreditation to become a political party. In December, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) disqualified Lim from the 2010 Senate race, as the poll body did not think Lim had the capacity to run in national elections. A few days later, Lim submitted evidence seeking to reverse the Comelec's decision. A month later, the Comelec reinstated Lim as an official candidate for Senator, along with Nicanor Perlas, who was running for president.

However, Lim was not as lucky as Antonio Trillanes in 2007. Several presidential aspirants courted the Magdalo group prior to the official campaign period; the Magdalo also received financial support from some close people in the Philippine Military Academy, the Guardians (a fraternity of soldiers led by Senator Gregorio Honasan), assorted businessmen, and party-list groups. These efforts were only enough to push Lim to 17th place in the senatorial race with over 6 million votes as of Comelec tallies released on 2 p.m. Tuesday (May 11). On May 11, the former brigadier general conceded defeat, after partial election results by the Comelec showed him far from the top 12 aspirants.

MMDA Chairman

President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Lim as chairman of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on 22 May 2017, taking over from officer in charge and general manager Thomas Orbos. Lim died in office in January 2021.

Personal Life and Death

Lim was married to Aloysia Tiongson and they had one daughter together.

Lim tested positive for COVID-19 on 29 December 2020. He died on 6 January 2021, at age 65 due to cardiac arrest, during the COVID-19 pandemic in Metro Manila. His remains were cremated and buried with military honors at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

References

Citation

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