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Pia Wurtzbach hits PDEA, media for releasing sensitive info on drug suspect

Stay strong, LGBT. That was part of the message sent out by Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach in her reaction to the Nov. 29 Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) drug bust involving 11 men in Bonifacio Global City. “Because of what PDEA and the news outlet have done, some people are now associating drugs and immorality with being gay. It’s ridiculous.”

SCREENSHOT FROM PIA WURTZBACH'S INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT

Stay strong, LGBT.

That was part of the message sent out by Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach in her reaction to the Nov. 29 Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) drug bust involving 11 men in Bonifacio Global City.

In her Instagram account, Wurtzbach wrote that “I understand that what the men were supposedly doing was illegal and they should face legal consequences. But there was absolutely no need to expose and publicly shame them.”

With the PDEA head also illegally publicly disclosing the HIV status of one of the 11 men, and news outlets brandishing the story, Wurtzbach said that “it’s illegal to publicly announce one’s HIV status (RA8504). What has been done has not only traumatized the men that were involved; it has also worsened the HIV situation in the Philippines. We’re working so hard in educating the people properly on HIV/AIDS, on taking away the stigma. Because of what PDEA and the news outlet have done, some people are now associating drugs and immorality with being gay. It’s ridiculous. The whole point of this drug raid was to arrest the men for their supposed crime, which was selling/distributing and using illegal narcotics. Being gay is not a crime! Living with HIV is not a punishment!”

To end, Wurtzbach said that “we are already taking small steps forward to improve acceptance, tolerance and understanding. We cannot take big steps back. To PDEA and the news outlets, take steps to mend the situation. Sa aking mga kababayan, wag po tayo maging judgmental. Hindi immoral ang maging bakla, hindi dapat ituring na kaparusahan ang HIV. At lalong hindi ito biro na dapat pag-pyestahan at pagtawanan.”

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And to the “beloved LGBT community,” Wurtzbach said “stay strong. We’ll win this.”

Universe, listen to this. A few days ago a drug bust happened in a high scale hotel in Manila Philippines involving 11 supposedly gay men. Two of them were suspected of selling/distributing drugs. During the operation, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) found out that one of of them was HIV positive. PDEA and local news outlets decided to expose the identities of these men to the media. Their mugshots, names, and the HIV status of one of them were released. Was this really necessary? I understand that what the men were supposedly doing was illegal and they should face legal consequences. But there was absolutely no need to expose and publicly shame them. It’s illegal to publicly announce one’s HIV status (RA8504). What has been done has not only traumatized the men that were involved; it has also worsened the HIV situation in the Philippines. We’re working so hard in educating the people properly on HIV/AIDS, on taking away the stigma. Because of what PDEA and the news outlet have done, some people are now associating drugs and immorality with being gay. It’s ridiculous. The whole point of this drug raid was to arrest the men for their supposed crime, which was selling/distributing and using illegal narcotics. Being gay is not a crime! Living with HIV is not a punishment! Come on, Philippines. We are already taking small steps forward to improve acceptance, tolerance and understanding. We cannot take big steps back. To PDEA and the news outlets, take steps to mend the situation. Sa aking mga kababayan, wag po tayo maging judgmental. Hindi immoral ang maging bakla, hindi dapat ituring na kaparusahan ang HIV. At lalong hindi ito biro na dapat pag-pyestahan at pagtawanan. To my beloved LGBT community, stay strong. We’ll win this.

A post shared by Pia Wurtzbach | Miss Universe (@piawurtzbach) on

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