DoJ vows HIV patients’ rights protection

The Department of Justice on Monday assured that it will continue to uphold the rights of people with human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.

According to Deputy State Prosecutor Margaret Castillo-Padilla, DoJ advocate for people living with HIV, their rights will be upheld at all times, adding that they have been supporting activities and programs that are meant to break the stigma and discrimination against PLHIV and fostered partnership with other government agencies and civil society organizations to ensure that their civil, social, political and economic rights are protected.

She also pointed out that the DoJ’s stand during the annual International AIDS Candlelight Memorial as she stressed that the agency is also the first government agency to have adopted its own workplace policy.

In 2021, Padilla recalled then justice secretary and now Solicitor General Menardo I. Guevarra issued Department Order 107, the Workplace Policy and Education Program on HIV and AIDS.

“We treated discriminatory and stigmatizing attitudes towards PLHIV in the workplace as a simple misconduct punishable by suspension of one month and one day up to six months and one day depending on the gravity for the first offense and dismissal from the service on the second offense,” Padilla said.

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