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date: 19 October 2017

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the emergence of the political ringtone in the Philippines in the neoliberal era. It argues that the popularity of the “Hello Garci” and “Sorry Po” ringtones in the midst of the Arroyo election scandal signaled the convergence of significant transformations in technology, culture, and politics in the Philippines that began in the mid-1990s. By focusing on the work of TXTPower, a Manila-based consumer and citizen advocacy group for mobile phone users and political opposition to the Arroyo administration, it also contends that these transformations indicate that neoliberalism does not constitute a refashioning of liberal democratic institutions, but a threat to them.

Keywords: political ringtone, Philippines, Hello Garci ringtone, Sorry Po ringtone, activism, technology, neoliberalism, TXTPower, mobile phone users, mobile phone culture

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