Maria Ressa dismisses Filipinos who challenge her claim that she is being targeted by the Duterte government by labelling them as “trolls” who are merely following “marching orders”. That’s like saying her critics are all non-humans who have nothing of any worth to say. This is the height of arrogance.
It is indeed fitting that Maria Ressa will now be facing a real judge presiding over a real Philippine court. This marks the end of an era where Ressa served as sole self-appointed judge over whether anything she says is right or wrong. Finally, a third and authorised party gets to rule on the question over how right about certain things Ressa really is.
Maria Ressa is a media personality who abused her position as chief executive of a channel that has access to millions of Filipino eyeballs. She measured validity on the basis of popularity and used popularity to enforce validity. That’s as crooked as any media executive could ever get — a bald abuse of a power that entails enormous responsibility. It’s time Maria Ressa pay dearly for that abuse.