‘Di lulusot palusot mo, boy! Zubiri confident SC will uphold Senate’s detention of UST Aegis frat boss Balag
Senate’s contempt powers will likely be upheld by the Supreme Court, Sen. Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri on Wednesday said dismissing the possibility of the high court favoring Aegis Juris fraternity leader Arvin Balag and effecting his release from detention in the upper chamber.
“I’m confident that the SC will respect the powers vested by the Constitution to the Senate when it comes to investigations and rules of contempt,” he said in a text message to reporters.
Zubiri noted that such contempt powers have long been within the authority of the upper chamber under its Rules of Procedure governing inquiries in aid of legislation.
It states that “a contempt of the committee shall be deemed a contempt of the Senate.”
Under Section 18 of the said rules, it states that the committee chair, with the concurrence of at least one member, may punish or cite in contempt any witness who disobeys any order or refuses to be sworn or to testify or to answer a proper question.
The same is slapped against those who testifying falsely or evasively or who refuses to bring certain documents or evidence required or subpoenaed by the committee.
A majority of the committee may, however, reverse or modify the contempt order within seven days.
The committee will determine where the person charged with contempt to be detained under the custody of the Sergeant-at-Arms until he or she purge himself or herself of that contempt.
Balag has been in detention in the Senate since Oct. 18, immediately after his appearance in the committee on public order and dangerous drugs chaired by Sen. Panfilo Lacson, after Sen. Grace Poe moved to have him cited in contempt.
He earned the citation due to his refusal to admit or deny his involvement with Aegis Juris fraternity.