Erap: Lim is not my brother

Manila Mayor Alfredo "Dirty Harry" Lim is not "that close" to the late Fernando "Da King" Poe Jr.

This was how former President Joseph "Erap" Estrada described the relationship between Poe, who used to be his best friend, and Lim, his only nemesis for the mayoral race in Manila next year.

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Estrada claimed that Poe's family was already considering him as part of their family even before the two of them befriend Lim, who was a mid-ranked police officer in Manila.
 
"When he was still alive, FPJ considered me as a brother. (The same goes) even with his family," Estrada said in a phone interview.

"But he (Lim) is not as close as I was with FPJ (Poe). They were not that close because he (Lim) was not even an actor," he added.
 
He made the clarification after Lim claimed to be in the same circle with Estrada and Poe before their heated rivalry for the top executive post in Manila for May polls.
 
"We're friends (Estrada and I). FPJ was also our friend," Lim told reporters during the commemoration of Poe's 8th death anniversary at Manila North Cemetery on Friday morning.

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Estrada, who shared a 40-year friendship with Poe, questioned why Lim suddenly decided to remember his best friend only eight years after Poe's death.

"I just want to be civil with him but I'm wondering why he only joined the commemoration of his death just now," said Estrada, who shook hands with Lim during the public event.

"Nonetheless, I still thank him (Lim) for honoring FPJ," he added.

Poe died after suffering from a stroke in December 2004.

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During the mass for Poe, the two politicians stood beside Poe's widow and actress Susan Roces and wished each other peace.

Estrada has been accusing Lim of being a political turncoat after his former friend resigned as his political party Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP)'s president to become an independent politician.

Lim, who earned the nickname Dirty Harry for leading anti-crime crusades against drug pushing in Manila, served as head of the Department of Interior and Local Government during the Estrada administration from 1999 to 2001.

Dents in their relationship first appeared when the Manila mayor joined the 2001 people power revolution that ousted Estrada from office.

Estrada had been jailed for plunder before then President Gloria Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who toppled Estrada, granted him executive clemency.

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