FOR Senator Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada, the country’s historic first win in the World Universities Debating Championship (WUDC) deserves the highest accolade from the upper chamber.
Calling the Ateneo de Manila University’s (ADMU) victory an “extraordinary accomplishment,” Estrada said “[it] is proof of the Filipino students’ capacity to stand alongside the world’s best young speakers and thinkers.”
The lawmaker has thus filed Senate Resolution 416, which recognizes and congratulates David Africa and Tobi Leung for topping the WUDC 2023 last January 3 in Madrid, Spain.
“Their mastery of the art of persuasion, critical thinking and creative formulation of ideas honed through years of dedication, study and discipline, even at such a young age, are positive characteristics…worthy of emulation, especially for our students,” he added.
It was the first time a team from the Philippines or Southeast Asia clinched the top prize in the tilt, which is usually ruled by English-speaking countries.
ADMU also became the second higher institution of learning in Asia to bag the championship title. Bangladesh’s BRAC University won the same in 2022.
The duo from the Ateneo Debate Society, who are both students of Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics with a specialization in Data Science, went head-to-head and succeeded against representatives from Princeton University (USA), Tel Aviv University (Israel), and Sofia University (Bulgaria) in the grand finals.
Estrada said Leung and Africa represented the country competently on the international debating stage, and have shown the world the nation’s gift of eloquence, intellectual prowess and ingenuity.
Leung was named the second best speaker of the tilt—the highest rank ever achieved by a Filipino in the competition—while Africa was ranked eighth overall best speaker. (Read in the BusinessMirror, Jan. 7, 2023: ADMU tops world universities’ debate competition in Spain.)
Image credits: Office of Sen. Jinggoy Ejercito