Opposition Senator has reiterated her support for pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong who continue to fight against threats to their civil liberties and political autonomy as China moves to impose a national security law in the city.
In her commentary entitled “HK today, PH tomorrow: They are coming for us” published in social news network Rappler last June 3, De Lima said democracy fighters sacrifice their own life, liberty, and property for something bigger than themselves, such as social, political, and economic equality, and protection from oppression and tyranny.
“As we watch the protesters in Hong Kong, [w]hat we ought to see are protesters that are fighting for democracy everywhere, including here in our own nation. Because that is the nature of democracy. To fight for it where you stand, is to fight with it alongside everyone standing for it everywhere,” she said.
“So I continue to stand with Hong Kong, as I have more than a year ago. Not just because their fierce and fearless protest leaders stood up for me when my freedom was taken, but, more importantly, because they are standing up for the Filipino nation when they stand up against the Chinese government’s violent bullying,” she added.
Last May 28, China’s parliament, the National People’s Congress, approved the proposal to impose a new national security law for Hong Kong, which will pave the way for its Standing Committee to proceed to working out details of the legislation to be implemented in Hong Kong.
The legislation, aimed at stamping out protests in Hong Kong, would ban “any acts or activities” that supposedly endanger China’s national security and would likewise allow “national security agencies” – potentially Chinese security forces – to operate in the city.
In highlighting the world’s fight for democracy and against authoritarian regimes, De Lima recalled the statement by American civil war writer Edmund Wilson in 1962 which noted how history reminds people that many of the conflicts between human beings “are stimulated…by the same instincts as the voracity of a sea slug.”
De Lima said Wilson described sea slug as “a primitive organism” living at the bottom of the sea that “gobbl[es] up small organisms through a large orifice at one end of its body; confronted with another sea slug of only a slightly lesser size, it [gobbles up] that, too.”
De Lima continued that a “sea slug state”, like China, feeds on its smaller neighbors to satisfy its own hunger for more territory, greater share of the world’s wealth, and even greater power to lord over the nations it tramples on.
“Sea slug states will try to gobble up everyone in its path. And as each victim falls, the sea slug grows, if not in morals and legitimacy, but surely it grows ever drunker with ideations of conquest and world domination, which will inevitably lead it to set its sights ever farther,” she said.
The lady Senator from Bicol maintained that people from different parts of the world should exert concerted effort to defeat a power-hungry sea slug of a state.
“So it is clear to me that the world will be best served if it fights against a sea slug that seeks to overpower and dominate. Fight to defend democracy in Hong Kong, in Taiwan, and in the Philippines. Fight for us so that we can fight for you and with you,” she added.
De Lima also stressed that it behooves the Filipino people to stand for Hong Kong and to fight for Philippine freedom, which is threatened by the rule of Mr. Duterte, who is considered by many as China’s lackey.
“We must fight in order to secure for “ourselves and our posterity the blessings of independence and democracy.” We must fight to preserve what makes us human: that priceless opportunity to live as free men and women in our own land, and not slaves to some foreign power,” she said. (30)