Hazing suspect files petition before Supreme Court challenging his detention

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 7) — A member of the Aegis Juris fraternity filed a petition with the Supreme Court that challenged his detention in the Senate, court Spokesperson Ted Te said Tuesday.

Arvin Balag has been detained in the Senate since October 18 after he was cited in contempt during the probe on the hazing death of Horacio "Atio" Castillo III. He refused to answer about his position in the fraternity. Balag is one of 42 respondents in the case.

Balag also asked for a stay order on the Senate inquiry on the hazng case.

The inquiry is based on Senate Resolution 504. Balag asked the court to declare the resolution filed by Senator Migz Zubiri null and void. He said the Senate resolution was not in aid of legislation, but in aid of prosecution. He added the contempt order violated his right to be respected during a Senate investigation.

The Supreme Court gave the Senate and other respondents 10 days to comment.

Balag apologized during the third Senate probe on November 6. He said he did not mean to disrespect the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs.

Committee Chairman Ping Lacson said he talked to his colleagues to lift the contempt charges against Balag, but said the frat member's petition stopped them.

"Nobody wants to lose by default. We'll fight it out in the Supreme Court," Lacson said on Monday.

Balag was initially identified as Aegis Juris president based on frat records. But he said he stepped down from his post last August.