Despite stringent government regulations that ban the airing of the supposed wiretapped conversations between President Macapagal-Arroyo and Election Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano, progressive groups are finding more ways to circulate the content of the controversial tapes. All for the sake of truth.
By Carl Marc Ramota
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s ouster might just be right at our finger tips.
Despite stringent government regulations that ban the airing of the supposed wiretapped conversations between the President and Election Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano, progressive groups are finding more ways to circulate the content of the controversial tapes.
In 2001, the infamous Estrada administration withered away in the face of a protest movement employing information and communication technologies (ICTs) as catalysts for social change.
Other countries even said that the EDSA People Power II was the world’s first “E-revolution” – a change of government brought about by new forms of ICTs. Technology, a foreign news organization reported, literally put the power in Filipino people’s hands.
With mounting protests against the Macapagal-Arroyo government, technology may once again play an important role in sparking yet another people’s uprising.
“Malacañang Scandal for Sale”
Using the internet, members of the League of Filipino Students (LFS) flooded various electronic mail groups, internet journals and other websites with copies of the controversial Malacañang tapes exposing alleged cheating in the 2004 elections. The student group said they got the files from the inq7.net, a consortium of Philippine Daily Inquirer and GMA Network, but the said website has pulled out the downloadable audio file after government threatened to file sedition cases against anyone who is in possession of the copies of the tape.
In a statement, LFS chairperson in UP Diliman Wendell Gumban said, “This revelation is of grave importance and must be widely distributed and must be listened to by all Filipinos. The Filipino people must have access to the truth. Now that we have sent copies of the files to thousands and thousands of our colleagues, friends, and relatives across the globe, Malacañang can do nothing but watch as the truth unfolds.”
He added that the ‘e-flood’ will wipe-out fears of Malacañang’s threats of criminal indictment to those distributing the material.
Militant youth group Anakbayan (nation’s youth) meanwhile distributed copies of the controversial CD titled “Malacañang Scandal” to students in the university belt as classes opened in most tertiary schools last week. Copies of the “Gloriagate” CD were reportedly now being sold on the black market.
“Gloriagate” ring tones
Text jokes about the controversy have already spread out but not until recently that it has been converted into a ring tone.
The new Gloriagate ring tone is selling like hot cakes among users of new models of mobile phones, and was quickly disseminated through infra-red and blue tooth technologies.
The ring tone starts and ends with the ring of an old phone, with the music of rap group In Da Club “50 Cent” playing in the background. It plays for 17 seconds and has the President saying, “Hello! Hello! Hello! Garci” three times and asking, “So, will I still lead by more than one million?”
Anak ng Bayan Youth Party vice president Raymond Palatino said Filipinos, particularly the youth, are more innovative in exposing the truth.
Palatino, one of the convenors of the Estrada Resign Youth Movement (ERYM) in 2000-2001 said with new technologies now more accessible to middle class Filipinos, ICTs, particularly the internet and mobile phones, are potent instruments which can be used to effectively and swiftly spread information.