Cavestany, Revilla Join Hands against Discrimination towards HIV Positive People

Manila Bulletin, March 14, 2011 | Go to article overview

Cavestany, Revilla Join Hands against Discrimination towards HIV Positive People


MANILA, Philippines - Former blacklisted citizen Marcelino Cavestany joins Sen. Bong Revilla, Jr. in the fight against discrimination towards people infected with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Cavestany told abs-cbnNEWS.com that he will be Revilla's "reference" and "resource person" for a measure the solon is set to file for the protection of HIV patients. "Bong and I have already talked about it. I would be his reference and resource person. It is a fight against discrimination and ignorance," said Cavestany, an HIV positive Filipino theater actor, director and advocate who is now a naturalized Australian citizen. Cavestany had earlier sought for a senatorial or congressional investigation after immigration agents barred him from entering the Philippines last March 6 upon a year-old blacklist order. He was hospitalized for two days at the Paranaque City Medical Center after he fainted upon learning about the order, abs-cbnNEWS.com report added. The literature and theater arts university professor, who initially flew to the country from Darwin, Australia for film and book projects, will have a prolonged stay in the Philippines to work on his collaboration with Revilla. "Magtatagal ako sa Pilipinas ngayon para matapos ang batas na ito at nang makatulong ako para maunawaan ng mga Filipino ang mga kondisyon ng mga may HIV," he said in the same abs-cbnNEWS.com interview. Although Bureau of Immigration's Officer-In-Charge Ronaldo Ledesma already lifted the blacklist order against him, Cavestany remains adamant in his plan to sue the BI. "Mas matinding kaso ang isasampa ko sa kanila," he declared. Cavestany added, "It is an open book that I have HIV," pertaining to his "coming out" in 2006, and noted that there is no provision in the law "barring [HIV positive individuals] from traveling to a country he wants to visit. …

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