MALAYA columnist Romeo Y. Lim wrote about then newly promoted Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim in his April 22, 2005 column, heaping praises on the military officer who has "consciously chosen to live a simple life dedicated to serving his country and people." General Lim is under military custody for his supposed role in a destabilization attempt against President Arroyo.
Following is Romeo Lim’s piece (reprinted with Malaya’s permission):
I want to take time out today to write about a man I greatly admire. It may be biased, but I have no apologies. In these times of endless shenanigans perpetuated by people who are supposed to serve our country and people, this man shines as a small candle in a sea of callousness and indifference.
The roots of newly promoted Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim can be traced to Xiamen, China, formerly Amoy. His father married a girl from Bohol but Danny, as he is called by both friends and detractors, was born and raised in Solano, Nueva Vizcaya. He is the youngest of five brothers.
He finished elementary and high school in Solano with flying colors. He was in his first year at UP when he took the entrance exams to the Philippine Military Academy. He topped the exams.
While a plebe, he took the entrance exam to the US Military Academy at West Point, one of the world’s premier military academies. He topped the exams.
After graduation, he returned to the country, took the Scout Ranger Course where he graduated not only No. 1 but also 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 (Tabak) Division in Sulu where his name became a byword due to his combat exploits. He was wounded twice in combat.
Then AFP chief Gen. Romeo Espino noticed this officer and promptly directed GHQ to transfer then Lt. Lim to his alma mater, PMA, for instructor duty. He stayed for a few years then packed his bags again for the US to take up the Advanced Infantry Course at the Infantry School in Fort Benning, Georgia. He not only topped the course but was also awarded the Distinguished Allied Student Award for that year. When he returned, he joined the First Scout Ranger Regiment as chief of operations.
In 1989, then Capt. Lim led the Makati siege that lasted seven days. The failed coup attempt resulted in his incarceration for two years. He was released during the Ramos administration after the signing of a comprehensive peace agreement between government and the military rebels. He was a member of the RAM-SFP-YOU peace panel in the negotiations.
Moving on with his life, Lim took the Command and General Staff course which he again topped. He ran off with seven of the eight awards given by the school. Only the physical fitness award called the "Tarzan Award" slipped through his fingers and was given to a much younger officer.
He later commanded the 42nd Infantry Battalion where he again made a name for himself for the various combat accomplishments of his unit. He also endeared himself to the Bicolanos in Camarines Sur where his battalion was based.
He then became deputy commander of the First Scout Ranger Regiment and later regiment commander.
BGen. Lim is married with a daughter still in high school. Despite all his achievements and accolades, this soft-spoken and modest officer does not have his own house yet – in direct contrast to his siblings who occupy senior positions in huge corporations (also in direct contrast to some AFP officers we know). He has consciously chosen to live a simple life dedicated to serving his country and people.
In six years, he will be bowing out of the military service.
I take my hat off to this officer and gentleman whose values and principles seem to be dying traits in this mess of an AFP. We need more people like him if we are to even hope to lift our country out the quagmire it is in.
So today, I greet all the other people who are not like BGen. Danilo Lim: Mabuhay ang mga kurakot sa gobyerno ni GMA!