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 No. 11166 or the Philippine HIV Policy Act.
On Thursday, June 24, 2021, during a broadcast of his radio show "Karambola" on DWIZ, simulcast over Facebook Live, Atty. Gadon said "Oo tsaka... pero may HIV siya... kaya ayon... kaya di gumaling," maliciously insinuating that the late former President died due to AIDS-related complications.
Section 44 of the R.A. No. 11166 guarantees the confidentiality and privacy of HIV-related information including: the fact of HIV testing, actual, perceived or suspected HIV infection or AIDS-related illnesses, and treatment of HIV-related illnesses. Violation of Section 44 can be penalized by imprisonment of up to five (5) years and a fine of up to 350,000 pesos.
As a lawyer, Atty. Gadon also violated Rule 1.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, which holds that "A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct."
Statements laced with malice like the one made by Atty. Gadon fuel HIV-related stigma and discrimination and offer no help in addressing the HIV epidemic in the country, which has the fastest rising number of new infections in the world.
We are working with the community of people living with HIV to file a disbarment complaint and criminal charges against Atty. Gadon.