MANILA,  August 6, 2004
Making her first appearance before a large media group, with her address telecast nationally and worldwide, President Arroyo is expected to discuss important policy issues when she addresses the Manila Overseas Press Club (MOPC) tonight.

The affair is the traditional President’s Night gala dinner tendered by the MOPC, which is the Philippines’ and Asia’s oldest press club and includes in its ranks senior Filipino journalists and editors representing the most influential radio, television and print media, foreign correspondents, diplomats, businessmen and professionals. (It will start at 7 at the Grand Ballroom of the InterContinental Hotel in Makati).

The President, MOPC chairman Max V. Soliven said, will use the occasion to speak about her policy initiatives and programs, as well as renew her "friendship" with the media.

The event will be presided over by MOPC president Antonio S. Lopez, publisher and editor of BizNews Asia, and the master of ceremonies will be Atty. Ricardo "Dong" Puno, former press secretary and immediate past president of the Club, host of the popular television program, Dong Puno Live. A panel of foreign correspondents and local journalists will supervise an Open Forum after GMA’s speech.

The proceedings will be televised internationally "live" by ANC/ABS-CBN Channel 21 (which beams itself to approximately five or six million Filipinos, mostly OFWs, in the Middle East, Canada, the United States, Australia and other countries), while ABS-CBN will telecast the affair on its nationwide network.

The President had previously addressed the Department of Foreign Affairs as regards her foreign policy and a business group as regards her tax and economic measures, just before her State of the Nation Address.

Since her election, however, she has never spoken before a group of ranking Filipino and foreign journalists jointly with members of the diplomatic and business communities about a wide range of topics in a comprehensive manner until tonight.

This year’s "MOPC President’s Night" promises to be a major media event, judging by the heavy booking. Guests include senior journalists, Cabinet members, officials of key government agencies, diplomats from the country’s major trading partners and allies, top businessmen and professionals.

Last year, the "MOPC President’s Night" held at the Manila Hotel became controversial and the most important presidential media event after Mrs. Arroyo explained her stand on the Oakwood mutiny and made remarks about the Makati Business Club.

For reservation call Denna at 523-1289 or 523-1156 or MOPC president at 0917-8318831.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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