MANILA – Aegis Juris fratman Arvin Balag, one of the principal suspects in the hazing death of law student Horacio Castillo III, has been released from Senate custody, Senator Panfilo Lacson said Friday.
Lacson, chair of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, confirmed that the Supreme Court indeed ordered Balag’s release through a resolution dated December 12.
Balag has been detained in the Senate since Oct. 18 after being cited in contempt for refusing to answer even the simplest questions during the probe into Castillo’s death.
“We opted in the meantime to respect and comply with the SC resolution ordering the interim release of Balag even before its final ruling on the main case,” Lacson said in a text message.
Lacson, however, said that Balag’s release does not mean that the Senate is ready to give up the “rights of the legislature” since it is a co-equal branch of the government.
He said the Senate will tackle Balag’s issue at the proper time as a collegial body.
The senator, meanwhile, said that allowing Balag’s release was also done “in the spirit of Christmas”.
“We did so, all in the spirit of Christmas, not to mention our desire to avoid a constitutional crisis during the holiday season,” he added. (With reports from Lloyd Caliwan/PNA)