Agus Raharjo, Jakarta – The General Chairperson of the United Indonesian People's Movement (GRIB) Jakarta Jaya, Rosario de Marshall alias Hercules, has expressed his full support for the presidential bid by Greater Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) Chairperson Prabowo Subianto.
Hercules along with his followers claimed to have faithfully supported Prabowo since the 2014 presidential elections.
"For the third time (that Prabowo has became a presidential candidate), GRIB will continues to unconditionally support him. There is no other choice", said Hercules after holding his birthday celebration along with hundreds of GRIB members and several Gerindra Party elites at his residence in Kebon Jeruk area of West Jakarta on Saturday June 3.
Hercules, who is the former "ruler" of the Tanah Abang area and markets in Central Jakarta, emphasised that his support for Prabowo is nonnegotiable. No matter who becomes Prabowo's vice presidential (cawapres) running mate, his support for the Defense Minister will not change.
"No matter who his cawapres is, whether it's Pak [Mr] Muhaimin [Iskandar, chair of the National Awakening Party, PKB], whether it's [Coordinating Minister for Security, Politics and Legal Affairs] Pak Mahfud MD, that's how my party's communication is. GRIB's position is nonnegotiable, it cannot be bought", said the big brave man born in Portuguese East Timor (now Timor Leste).
Hercules explained that he faithfully supports Prabowo because he had a long history with the former Army Special Forces (Kopassus) commander. He first became acquainted with Prabowo when the war was raging in East Timor. At that time, Hercules worked as a military operations assistant for Kopassus.
In addition to this, continued Hercules, GRIB, the social organisation he founded in 2013, has very close links to Prabowo and Gerindra. Prabowo is also GRIB's Central Leadership Board (DPP) Advisory Board chairperson. Hercules claimed that GRIB now has 1.4 million members throughout Indonesia.
Jakarta Gerindra Party Regional Leadership Board (DPD) Chairperson Ahmad Riza Patria admitted that Hercules and GRIB have supported Prabowo since the 2014 presidential elections. Patria said he is happy and grateful that Hercules and GRIB are again supported Prabowo in the 2024 elections.
"GRIB Jaya was established in 2013 and has loyally supported Pak Prabowo. God willing, in 2024-2029 Pak Prabowo, God willing, will become the 8th President of the Republic of Indonesia. Of course we are very happy and grateful if any members of the nation, volunteers, anyone gives their support", said the former Jakarta Deputy Governor at the same occasion.
Notorious gang boss Hercules forged a close relationship with Prabowo (who later adopted him and several other East Timorese and Papuan children) when he served with the Indonesian military during its occupation of East Timor. Hercules was relocated to Jakarta in the mid-1980s for his services in helping the army fight the Timorese resistance and later received the Satyalancana Seroja medal for the assistance he provided to Kopassus during the Seroja Operation.
In May 2014 the West Jakarta District Court convicted Hercules for a second time in less than a year, handing him a three-year sentence for extortion and money laundering. Earlier in July 2013, he was also sentenced to four months in prison by the same court for inciting a riot and damaging property in retaliation for a police crackdown against his gang for extorting local businesses in the Kembangan area of West Jakarta.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Hercules dan Pengikutnya Tegaskan Harga Mati Dukung Prabowo Subianto Capres 2024".]