January 21, 2016, 12:43a.m. – AFTER DEFENDING President Aquino’s widely criticized veto of a bill hiking social security pensions, UST settled for silver in an inter-law school debate tournament against Ateneo de Manila on Jan. 20 at the Senate.

The UST Law Debate and Moot Team bowed to the Ateneo St. Thomas More Debate and Advocacy Society in “Debate sa Senado 2016,” a competition that aims to “help shape the nation through argumentation and discourse among future leaders.”

The topic was about the proposal for Congress to override President Benigno Aquino III’s veto on House Bill 5842 or the SSS Pension Increase Bill.

The UST law debate team composed of Mark Vixen Dorado, Dyan Lucero and Jonaline Roxas defended the negative side.

For the affirmative side, Ateneo argued that the hike would secure the financial well-being of the country’s two million pensioners and fulfill the government’s duty of taking care of its citizens.

UST defended Aquino’s veto, saying the President’s action was a necessity to “save” the Social Security System from being a “burden” to taxpayers and the economy in the long run.

The adjudicators, composed of New Era College of Law Dean Abraham Espejo as chief adjudicator and lawyers Roland Glenn Tuazon and Michael Vincent Galansa, decided to give the win to the affirmative side.

UST’s Dorado was declared best speaker of the finals and was ranked the ninth best speaker of the eliminations.

John Fabella, president of the UST Law Debate and Moot Team, said having a “proper structure” was the Thomasian signature in the competition.

Thomasian law debaters competed against law students from Ateneo, De La Salle University, San Beda College – Mendiola, San Beda College – Alabang and Adamson University in the elimination. UST defeated a team from San Beda – Mendiola in the semifinals.

The competition used a modified Oregon Oxford format where three speakers were given the chance to defend their side, and an interpolator from the opposition was allowed to ask categorical questions based on the previous speeches.

Debate sa Senado 2016 was presented by the Ateneo St. Thomas More Debate and Advocacy Society and the Senate Committee on Public Information and Mass Media.

Movie and Television Review and Classification Board Chairman and Ateneo debate adviser Eugenio Villareal, and presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe graced the event and gave their messages to the debaters. Roy Abrahmn DR. Narra


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