Most people expressed surprise when news came out that former President Benigno “PNoy” Aquino III had died at Capitol Medical Center yesterday, June 24, 2021.
As could be expected from a leader with a contentious legacy, reactions on social media were mixed, though most Filipinos expressed their sympathies. Even Sen. Imee Marcos—whose family has been the Aquinos’ most bitter political opponents, since the assassination of Benigno Aquino Jr led to deposed former president Ferdinand Marcos’ exile—tweeted to offer her condolences.
Apparently not everyone had the grace to do the same, however.
People on social media have circulated a clip from yesterday’s edition of radio and streaming talk show Karambola on DWIZ 882, which shows the four commentators apparently reacting with glee to the news of PNoy Aquino’s death.
Hosts Conrad Banal, Trixie Cruz Angeles, and Jonathan de la Cruz, speaking with guest anchor Larry Gadon, were discussing then-unconfirmed rumors that the former president had been rushed to the hospital. But at around the 48:12 mark, a voice off-camera, presumably Larry Gadon, comes in to say that he had received a text message confirming the news: “I received information from some members of the media that eto daw [expletive] na ‘to PNoy Aquino…patay na daw ang [expletive].” (“This [expletive]…he’s dead, this [expletive]”)
At around 49:50, the voice again says: “Ay patay na nga! Yeehee!” (“He’s dead!”). The person also calls Pinoy “‘yung hayop na yan” (“that animal”) and says “tuwang-tuwa ako” (“I’m so happy”) and “magpapa-raffle ako ng trip to Hong Kong!” (“I will hold a raffle for a trip to Hong Kong”) even as the three hosts try to shush him.
The screen then includes a view of Gadon at his mic, saying, “Ako, iba ako eh, rest in hell” (“Me, I’m different. [For me, it’s], rest in hell.”)
However, social media users and LGBTQ+ rights organizations called to disbar Gadon, who is a lawyer, because he also claimed (at around 53:45) that Aquino had died of HIV. Besides being unconfirmed, it is against the law to disclose a person’s HIV status without consent, under Republic Act 11166.
The hashtag #DisbarGadon is being used on social media to call for the lawyer’s disbarment.
This article, This clip of a radio host apparently celebrating news of PNoy’s death isn’t in very good taste, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.