AFTER a six-year dry spell, the Thomasian Debaters Council (TDC) finally managed to capture a championship title, winning the 1st European Commission–Ombudsman (EC-OMB) National Debate Championship last May 11 at the Ateneo De Manila University.

UST-A, composed of John Baluyot (Civil Law), Eric Javelosa (Civil Law) and Cyris Aquino (Graduate School) defeated Ateneo De Davao (ADD) during the championship round. It was the TDC’s first crown since November 2000 when Arlyn Maneja, Audrey Zaens and Arnel Ordas won in the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) Debate Championship.

The tournament, a part of the Corruption Prevention Project of the European Commission and the Office of the Ombudsman, adopted the Royal Malaysian (RM) format (also known as the Asians parliamentary format). Under the RM format, there are four elimination rounds. After the elimination round, there were three break rounds-quarterfinals, semifinals and finals.

In the last round, UST took on the affirmative side while Ateneo became the opposition.

Aquino said they were up against the best of the best.

“We competed with Team-A’s of other schools. These teams were not A’s for no reason,” she said.

Aquino added that being on Team-A was an added pressure.

“If Team-A does not win or gets eliminated, the hopes for the University to win are gone,” Aquino said.

To qualify for the national championships, UST-A, along with two other UST teams, competed in the EC-OMB Regional Debate Championship last March 2006 at the College of Saint Benilde. UST-A was the runner-up.

TDC also participated in the Inquirer Intermediate Debate Championship last April at UPD where UST also became a runner-up.

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Meanwhile, an independent Thomasian debater, along with other members of the Philippine University team, won in the 3rd UST Inter-Varsity debate competition last May 15 and 16 at the Civil Law Lobby.

Larcina, a Civil Law graduate, together with ADMU’s independent debater, Bobby Benedicto and UP graduate Carl Ng, defeated representatives from ADMU in the Final Match. L. J.D. Postrado

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