Mobile activist group TXTPower last night launched the AB-ZTE-FG protest ringtone, as it called on the public to remain vigilant over the US$329-million scam involving persons closely linked to President Arroyo.

TXTPower President Anthony Ian Cruz encouraged the public to download, use, re-post and forward the ringtone “as a sign of our collective anger over the latest scandal to hit the Arroyo administration and demand that the investigation result in the prosecution of bribers, bribetakers, fixers and influence-peddlers.”

“Let our call for truth and transparency ring across the country,” said Cruz, who posted links to download the ringtone at his blog

Cruz said the ringtone is based on a satirical video posted on YouTube.

In her blog, Ellen Tordesillas stressed that Cruz clarified that would like to stress that they were not the ones who created the video on YouTube.

Cruz said, “Somebody else made it and posted it there. We thank him or her very much, whoever he or she is.

“What we just did were two things: Extracted the tune from the YouTube video, and then posted it on the web to make it quickly accessible and downloadable as a ringtone.”

First Gentleman Mike Arroyo, the President’s husband, is again caught in the scandal. Mr. Arroyo allegedly told Jose de Venecia III, son and namesake of the Speaker of the House of Representatives to “back off” from the National Broadband Network project which was later clinched by ZTE of China under questionable and scandalous circumstances.

Commission on Elections Chairman Benjamin Abalos purportedly tried to influence the NBN project and, according to the younger De Venecia, received bribes from ZTE.

ZTE and the Philippine government, represented by Transportation and Communications Sec. Leandro Mendoza signed the contract in April this year.

But the government later claimed to have lost the contract and refused to disclose details of the project, prompting the younger De Venecia and Vice Governor Rolex Suplico to file a suit before the Supreme Court. The court issued a temporary restraining order against the project last Sept. 11.

President Arroyo initially barred her cabinet members from attending Senate investigations on the issue, but later relented due to intense public pressure.

Despite the scandal, President Arroyo refuses to cancel or rescind the NBN-ZTE contract.

In 2005, TXTPower popularized the Hello Garci ringtone based on the audiotaped telephone conversations allegedly between President Arroyo and Comelec Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano.

Ederic Eder

Ederic is a Filipino communications worker in the telecom, media, and technology industry. He writes about K-dramas and Korean celebrities for Hallyudorama.

He used to be a social media manager for news at GMA Network, where he also headed YouScoop, GMA News and Public Affairs’ citizen journalism arm.

He was with Yahoo! Philippines for more than three years before returning to GMA Network, where he was also previously part of the News Research section.

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