Lawyer Larry Gadon receives harsh criticism from celebrities, HIV support groups, and netizens alike after his alleged claims that the late President Benigno Aquino III, who passed away on June 24, had HIV.
During a talk with DWIZ‘s Karambola, the lawyer supposedly hinted that one of the reasons why the former President died was AIDS-related complications. He added that he got the alleged information from a “friend” whose identity remained anonymous.
“Oo tsaka… pero may HIV siya… kaya ayon… kaya di gumaling,” said Gadon.
The public reacted negatively to the alleged “revelation.”
Owe My Love‘s Alex Medina can’t help but react to the clip of Gadon’s statement on Twitter, saying “Di pa kuning tong mga abo na nakkapagsalita.”
Lord…di pa kukunin tong mga abo na nakakapagsalita? https://t.co/XAmrvUbhO5
— Alex (@alexvincentm) June 25, 2021
Actress Agot Isidro summarized her sentiment regarding the claim in one word.
— Agot Isidro (@agot_isidro) June 25, 2021
Rod Magaru, on the other hand, questioned the status of today’s Philippine radio.
A netizen had the same sentiments as he criticized DWIZ for giving the likes of Gadon the platform.
— JP (@dumidyeypee) June 25, 2021
Support groups of people with HIV and AIDS joined in and stated that they are considering filing criminal charges and disbarment strikes against Gadon for his tattle tale. One of which is a community called The Red Whistle.
“The Red Whistle strongly condemns in unequivocal terms a statement made by Atty. Lorenzo ‘Larry’ Gadon, maliciously imputing that former President Benigno Simeon ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III had HIV, in violation of Republic Act 11166 or the Philippine HIV Policy Act,” the group said in a statement uploaded on their social media accounts.
“The Red Whistle strongly condemns in unequivocal terms a statement made by Atty. Lorenzo ‘Larry’ Gadon, maliciously imputing that former President Benigno Simeon ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III had HIV, in violation of Republic Act 11166 or the Philippine HIV Policy Act.”
STATEMENT CONDEMNING LARRY GADON
The Red Whistle strongly condemns in unequivocal terms a statement made by Atty. Larry Gadon, maliciously imputing that former President Noynoy Aquino had HIV, in violation of Republic Act No. 11166 or the Philippine HIV Policy Act. pic.twitter.com/rbdVcwz1UX
— The Red Whistle (@TheRedWhistle) June 25, 2021
Network to Stop AIDS Philippines (NSAP) also uploaded a statement calling the Integrated Bar of the Philippines to hold the lawyer accountable follow the practices of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
“Regardless of his political inclinations, which is a constitutional right everyone should respect, to attempt to besmirch any individual and to particularly do so on mass media, and in his capacity as a mass media practitioner, by alluding to their actual, perceived, or suspected HIV status is a prohibited act and practice, and does not help the estimated 97,000 Filipinos with HIV in the Philippines,” they said on Facebook.
NSAP is a coalition of 29 HIV advocacy groups in the country.
Photographer Niccolo Cosme used the hashtag #DisbarGadon to join the movement against the lawyer.
Others encouraged netizens to also file a complaint at KBP regarding DWIZ’s viral interview.
— Ceej Tantengco (@ceejtheday) June 25, 2021
Writer Jerry Gracio said that if the authorities will let these kinds of people disrespect others, the act may be normalized.
Pag hinayaan nating mambastos nang mambastos ang bastos, masasanay. Kaya i-disbar na 'yan.
— Jerry B. Grácio (@JerryGracio) June 25, 2021
Section 44, Article 6 of RA 11166 reads, “The confidentiality and privacy of any individual who has been tested for HIV, have been exposed to HIV, has HIV infection or HIV- and AIDS-related illnesses, or was treated for HIV-related illnesses shall be guaranteed.”
It also mentioned that the disclosure of those with HIV-related illnesses without written consent will be considered against the law.
“Unless otherwise provided in Section 45 of this Act, it shall be unlawful to disclose, without written consent, information that a person has AIDS, has undergone HIV-related test, has HIV infection or HIV-related illnesses, or has been exposed to HIV.”
Former President Aquino passed away on Thursday morning due to renal disease secondary to diabetes. He was 61 years old.