Aegis Juris Fraternity “grand praefectus” Arvin Balag has challenged his continued detention in the Senate before the Supreme Court.
Balag, leader of Aegis Juris, the law fraternity implicated in the hazing death of UST law freshman Horacio “Atio” Castillo III, was detained in the Senate after he was cited in contempt for repeatedly refusing to answer questions in a hearing last Oct. 18.
“The Court directed the respondents to comment on both the petition for certiorari and the application for a temporary restraining order within a non-extendible period of 10 days from notice of the order,” Supreme Court spokesman Theodore Te said in a press briefing.
During the Senate probe on Monday, Sen. Panfilo Lacson, chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, said Balag’s detention could be prolonged because of his Oct. 25 petition before the high court.
“Nobody wants to lose by default, so we will fight it out in the Supreme Court and in the meantime, you will stay longer in the Senate premises,” Lacson told Balag.
In his petition, Balag said the Senate probe into Castillo’s death was in aid of “prosecution” instead of legislation, and his detention violated his right to a fair trial. He also claimed he was not respected as a resource person.
Balag claims he resigned as an officer of the fraternity in August.
In an affidavit filed on Oct. 25, Aegis Juris fratman and government witness Mark Anthony Ventura said Balag gave the fifth and last paddle strike that killed the 22-year-old Atio during the fraternity’s initiation rites last Sept. 17.
Balag is one of 18 suspects facing complaints of murder, robbery and violation of the Anti-Hazing Law.