MANILA, Philippines — The purported head of the Aegis Juris fraternity was cited in contempt by the Senate public order committee when he refused to confirm his membership and position in the organization at the hearing on Wednesday, October 18, into the hazing death of University of Sto. Tomas law freshman Horacio Castillo III.
Senator Grace Poe moved to cite Alvin Balag in contempt after he repeatedly invoked his right against self-incrimination when she asked him if he was the president, or Grand Praefectus, of the law school fraternity.
“For the position you’re holding at the fraternity you’re invoking your right?” Poe asked, her voice rising slightly, when he refused to answer her.
“Your Honor, (I’m) being charged with violation of Anti-Hazing Law. It’s (membership and position) one of the elements of the crime,” Balag replied.
Committee chairman Senator Panfilo Lacson warned Balag not to “irritate” the senators, pointing out they could have him detained anywhere, including the Pasay City jail.
“It’s a very simple question of your position. And you’re invoking your right against self-incrimination? Come on,” Lacson told him.
Poe showed documents related to Aegis Juris’ application for recognition from UST that bore Balag’s name but he maintained his refusal to answer, leading the senator to ask: “Ang pagiging miyembro, hindi mo aaminin? Anong klase kang leader ng fraternity (You won’t even admit membership? What kind of a fraternity leader are you?”
“I think Mr. Chair … I would like to move that this resource person be cited in contempt,” Poe then said.
“The motion is carried. So sergeant-at-arms, after the hearing you place him (Balag) under detention,” Lacson ordered.
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