Senator Lito Lapid proudly congratulated the Ateneo Debate Society (ADS) for making history as they conquered their opponents and won the world title for the Philippines in the recently concluded 43rd World Universities Debating Championship in Madrid, Spain.

Lapid filed Senate Resolution (P.S.Res.) No. 412 congratulating and commending the debaters from the Jesuit-run Ateneo de Manila University for bagging the first championship title for the Philippines, also a first in the history of the Southeast Asian nation.

David Demitri Africa and Tobi Leung of the ADS won against Princeton University of the United States, Sofia University of Bulgaria, and Tel Aviv University of Israel in the open final debate as the opening opposition.

They also bested hundreds more of institutions during the elimination rounds, proving to be formidable opponents for their top-tier competitors from around the world.

“It also perfectly demonstrates that Filipino perseverance is like no other.”

“This incredible achievement of the Ateneo de Manila University students Africa and Leung in the competition demonstrates the remarkable ability of Filipinos to bounce back and thrive despite heartbreaking losses, it also perfectly demonstrates that the Filipino perseverance is like no other,” the veteran legislator said.

The duo got the best of their opponents from the aforementioned prestigious universities in the final round to win the elusive title for the Philippines for the first time in the tournament’s 42-year long history, a historical feat, considering that our country is no stranger to this competition.

“Salamat, David at Tobi, sa inyong makasaysayang kontribusyon sa larangan ng debate, hindi lang sa ating bansa, kundi pati na rin sa rehiyon ng Southeast Asia.”

“Ang pagkapanalo nina Leung at Africa ay isa lamang patunay na ang ating mga debaters ay kayang-kaya makipagsabayan at humigit pa sa kanilang mga kapantay mula sa ilan sa mga pinakamahusay na mga unibersidad sa mundo. Salamat, David at Tobi, sa inyong makasaysayang kontribusyon sa larangan ng debate, hindi lang sa ating bansa, kundi pati na rin sa rehiyon ng Southeast Asia,” the seasoned lawmaker added.

Besides the championship title, Leung and Africa were awarded as the 2nd and 8th best speakers of the world, respectively. Leung also attained the highest best-speaker position that a Filipino has ever held in WUDC history.

“Nawa’y ang iyong makasaysayang tagumpay ay magbigay ng inspirasyon sa higit pang maraming mga mag-aaral na pag-igihan pa upang maabot ang mas mataas na antas ng kahusayan para sa pagpapabuti ng ating bansa at ng mundo, lalo na sa mapanghamong panahong ito,” the senator stressed.

According to ADS, the WUDC is “one of the largest and most diverse university-level majors, hailing teams from all around the world.”

It follows the British Parliamentary format in which topics are only made public 15 minutes before the debate proper.



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