JAKARTA, Indonesia (The Adobo Chronicles, Jakarta Bureau) – Being a former CNN Bureau Chief for Jakarta counts for something, and that’s exactly what Rappler CEO Maria Ressa is counting on, as Indonesia is now poised to move its capital away from the island of Java.
President Joko Widodo’s decision comes less than two weeks after private pollsters said he had won an April 17 presidential election, although official results are not due until May 22. His challenger, Prabowo Subianto, has also claimed victory.
“The president chose to relocate the capital city to outside of Java, an important decision,” Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro told a news conference after a cabinet meeting.
Brodjonegoro said the administration had yet to pick a new location, but was looking at the eastern side of the sprawling archipelago.
As part of the transition to a new capital, Widodo has sent feelers to Ressa if she would consider an appointment as the Press Secretary of the new capital. “We definitely want someone with expertise on biased and fake news in order to help promote the new capital,” Widodo said.
Experts say it would be a good, graceful way out for Ressa whose online news source has lost business and credibility because of several criminal charges filed against her, including tax evasion, violation of the Constitution and cyber libel.
No word from Ressa if she would accept the offer, but majority of Filipinos are supportive of the idea, saying it would constitute “good riddance.”