"Hello Garci?"


The hottest cell-phone ringtone in Manila these days features the alleged voice of the Philippine president apparently engaged in swaying the election that brought her to power last year. A 17-second snippet of a phone conversation supposedly between then-candidate Gloria Arroyo and a man believed by many Philippine citizens to be election official Virgilio Garcillano ("Garci") features Arroyo discussing the election returns: "Hello? Hello? Hello Garci? So, will I still lead by more than 1M (million)?"

Most users have downloaded the snippet, set to various musical backgrounds, from the Internet. Street vendors are also selling CDs containing the material.

The conversation is part of a mass of similar material obtained via illegal wiretaps allegedly placed by military officers hostile to Arroyo, according to the SF Chronicle. (Transcripts and audio posted here.) Arroyo says only that "I will not comment on the authenticity of the material that accusers admit were illegally derived." She says she will discuss the recordings further at an "appropriate time."