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ADMU wins national debate competition

(The Philippine Star) - April 8, 2014 - 1:50am

MANILA, Philippines - The Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) beat the University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD) in the final round of the eighth Philippine Inter-Collegiate Debating Championship (PIDC), held Monday night at the Asian Development Bank. 

In a 7-2 decision, ADMU A composed of Allan Cabrera, Inah Robles and Bharat Keswani won the championship against Maggie Del Valle, Leomar Doctolero and Jose Escalante of UPD A. The teams debated on whether or not leaders of disenfranchised communities should tell their members that hard work is the way to poverty alleviation. 

UPD A, taking the affirmative side, said marginalized groups need to empower themselves first before they can effectively demand for their rights, and that people need to prepare for situations when the state might not be able to provide them with support systems. ADMU A, on the negative side, said changes over the course of history were achieved through the collective action of people against the state, and that they can only be genuinely empowered if they challenge systematically oppressive structures that limit them.

Cabrera, who was the deputy leader of the opposition, was declared the finals best speaker, while Robles was declared as the tournament's overall best speaker.

Sanjeev Parmanand of the World Schools Debating Championship-Philippines and Angelica Zacarias of UPD were hailed as the best adjudicators of the tournament.

Meanwhile, Xavier University (XU) composed of Reine Cabreira, Rene Gandeza and Lee Gogo won against San Beda College in the tournament's Sinag Cup, a parallel competition among novice teams representing Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao and the National Capital Region. Gogo was declared the Sinag Cup finals best speaker.

PIDC is the country's biggest debate competition in the Asian parliamentary format, and this year's competition included 60 teams from 22 institutions all over the country. ADMU and UPD, long-standing rivals of the Philippine debate circuit, share an equal number of victories in the eight-year history of the tournament. ADMU won in 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2014 while UPD won in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Next month, teams from the Philippines will fly to Singapore to compete in the United Asians Debating Championship, to be hosted by Nanyang Technological University.

ALLAN CABRERA ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK INAH ROBLES AND BHARAT KESWANI LEOMAR DOCTOLERO AND JOSE ESCALANTE MAGGIE DEL VALLE MANILA UNIVERSITY MINDANAO AND THE NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION NANYANG TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY PHILIPPINE INTER-COLLEGIATE DEBATING CHAMPIONSHIP REINE CABREIRA SINAG CUP
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