By JUN DAA
Team OKKA .
WHEN Councilor Alam Lim decided to run for the congressional seat of the 2nd district of the city, many thought the odds are not favorable to him.
He had a few believers. One is Mayor Oscar Moreno who first broached the idea of him becoming congressman; second, his brother-in-law Sammy Lim, a close presidential aide and third, the President of the Republic, Rodrigo Roa Duterte.
A few days after Mayor Moreno asked him to run for Congress, he called for a meeting with the mayor, this with bayaw Sammy. Then on Oct. 5, 2018, he filed his certificate of candidacy for congressman.
It would be an uphill climb, a mission impossible of sort. He is running against a popular politician who is seeking his old post, a good orator, and thought to be a bright boy with sterling academic records.
His opponent may be least of Alam’s concerns. How he runs his campaign is. He thought, I have not sought the slot, the machinery of the vastly popular mayor, he thought would be behind him.
True, his opponents caricature him as a lightweight, battling a giant. They thought, it would be a walk in the park for the returning congressman.
Then on Jan. 26, the President called Alam to the Palace as a guest in a state banquet for the visiting President of Sri Lanka. There, his hand was raised by the President, a powerful gesture of endorsement. He was the first local candidate endorsed by the President.
When photos of the endorsement spread on social media, doubters said it was not genuine, saying it was photoshopped or that it was just a standee of the President.
To disprove doubters, the President came over to the city. After appearing in the Roa grand reunion, the President met with barangay captains of district 2 and again endorsed the candidacy of Lim. This time, Girlie Balaba, a candidate for city councilor in district 2, was also endorsed.
Then that phone call from the President in a pulong-pulong of PDP-Laban in Barangay 40. There, he asked Mayor Moreno to work for Lim’s and Balaba’s victory. He then added, “haruson na lang tanan…” which was actually an endorsement of the whole Team OKKA slate.
That call of the President and his promise to visit the city next month may have eroded the alleged endorsement of the President to another mayoralty contender. The hastily taken photo, with his left foot missed by the camera frame had been photoshopped heavily and printed on giant billboards around the city.
At first ignored, belittled by the camp of the returning congressman, now his campaign machinery is gearing up to pull down Alam Lim. He is now a prime target of a well-oiled social media vilification campaign. Now, they are taking Alam Lim seriously.
It may just be a matter of time, the 2nd district is represented in Congress by a hard-working, down-to-earth gentleman who listens before opening his mouth. Who would seek viable solutions to problems not soundbytes which are only pleasing to the ear. These are traits that have surely won the President’s heart. #alamna
(Jun Daa is a campaign volunteer of Alam Lim.)