With the historic Kalayaan Hall in Malacañang serving as backdrop, San Beda College-Mendiola defeated rival San Beda College-Alabang in the championship round of the Freshmen-Sophomore Political Law Debate Invitational organized by the St. Thomas More (STM) Debate and Advocacy Society, in partnership with the Office of the Political Adviser of the Office of the President.
The trio from Mendiola argued on the negative side of the motion, that “Uber and other similar apps should not be treated the same way as public utility vehicles.” Comprising the champion team are Karlo Antonio, Charles De Belen, and Victor Baguilat Jr., who was also declared as the Best Speaker of the championship round.
The final round of the tournament was the first inter-law school debate to ever happen inside the Malacañang grounds. It was also the first time that the Office of the President partnered with a student organization to conduct an academic debate.
The team from SBC-Alabang, comprised of Sachiko Nomano, Rio Mendoza and Apple Carvajal, fortified its position by presenting arguments founded on the concepts of vicarious liability and extraordinary diligence. On the other hand, SBC-Mendiola argued that better regulation by the government of these companies in the same way as public utility vehicles would lessen safety risks of the passengers, drivers, and the streets in general.
The final round was adjudicated by a panel of officials from the Office of the President. Atty. Michael G. Aguinaldo, the Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs, served as the chief adjudicator of the match.
Teams from Adamson, Ateneo, FEU, La Salle, San Beda-Alabang, San Beda-Mendiola, UE, Lyceum and San Sebastian-Recoletos competed in the tournament, with Ateneo Law School fielding in two teams. Both San Beda teams had to go through four elimination rounds and a semi-final round before reaching the championship round.
Albert Alde (1F) from team Ateneo-B was hailed as the Best Overall Speaker of the tournament’s Preliminary Rounds, while John Michael Villanueva emerged as the Fifth Best Speaker. The success of the Freshmen-Sophomore Political Law Debate Invitational comes on the heels of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Cup, a debate competition also organised by STM in tandem with a government agency. P
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