GUAGUA -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on December 30 joined about 50 media practitioners and staff of the Philippine Information Agency in the province for lunch at a restaurant in this town.
Arroyo, who tendered the buffet, raffled off prizes and gave local media practitioners media noche packs amid a protest lodged against her by the Pampanga Press Club (PPC) for alleged discrimination in coverage of her visits in the province.
Officials of the PPC have alleged that the local media has been discriminated by her staff and on occasions "shoved" by her security escorts in favor of the more "privileged" national media counterparts.
"What we want is a dialogue so we can discuss the problems with her," PPC chairman and Sun.Star Pampanga chief lensman Chris Navarro said.
He added that the latter "in-house" coverage reserved for national media persons had hurt local practitioners, reporters and correspondents who have since covered her sorties and visits in the province.
"What has happened was parang inilayo siya sa atin ng mga staff niya instead na maging close pa nga," Navarro added.
But in a brief statement to the media practitioners present that afternoon, Arroyo thanked the local media for dishing out information on her programs and visits as she wished them the best for the coming year.