September 3, 2015 (1:13 PM)

4 min read


Photo by Ken Benjamin Camao

The Ateneo Debate Varsity (ADV) during the IHL Debates. Photo by Ken Benjamin Camao

The Ateneo Debate Varsity (ADV) emerged as the overall champion in the college category of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Debates 2015 last Aug. 28-30 at the University of Mindanao (UM) Matina Campus, defending the title from last year.

In 2014, ADV’s team A, which was consisted of Trisha Aliya Dulanas, Nice Mondragon, and Hazel Bergantinos, won the tournament.

The IHL Debates is an annual debate tournament primarily hosted by the Philippine National Red Cross-Davao City Chapter every month of August which is also IHL month.

This year’s IHL debates was the first to be on a regional scale. The Red Cross Davao City Chapter, together with the University of Mindanao Debate Society, hosted the first Mindanao-wide IHL debates, where debaters and adjudicators from secondary and tertiary levels, among others, from all over Mindanao competed against one another.

Christian Lloyd Espinoza, the tournament director, stated that the competition was a great way for students to discuss international humanitarian law.

“This is a very good event and avenue for our high school, college, and post-graduate students to discuss matters pertaining to international humanitarian law. In such a way, we empower the youth to participate in discussing and resolving issues regarding the laws and other relevant issues [related to] it,” he said.

The eliminations of the event consisted of three rounds. The result was that eight of 39 teams passed.

Three teams from Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU), one from Bukidnon State University (BSU), one from the University of the Philippines-Mindanao (UP-Min), and three from the University of Mindanao (UM) made it passed the preliminary rounds.

Meanwhile, 15 out of approximately thirty adjudicators passed. Four from AdDU, three from BSU, two from Stella Maris Academy of Davao (SMAD), one from I-Link High School, one from the University of Immaculate Conception (UIC), one from the University of Southern Mindanao (USM), one from the UP-Min, one from UM, and one from San Pedro College (SPC) qualified for the higher rounds.

Through various quarterfinal and semifinal rounds, the top two teams for the college category were AdDU A and AdDU B, while the high school category had the teams UIC-A and UIC-B.

The teams faced off in their respective grand finals.

The high school teams debated on the motion, “This House, as a humanitarian aid worker, would not give aid to violators of the International Humanitarian Law,” with UIC-A on the Government house and UIC-B on the Opposition side.

Meanwhile, the college grand finals debated on the motion, “This House would require all military units involved in armed conflicts to be accompanied by journalists from private news organizations at all times,” with AdDU B on the Government bench and AdDU A on the Opposition.

Each round was judged by a seven-man panel of adjudicators. The decision for the high school category was a 4-3 split in favor of the Government side. On the other hand, the decision for the college grand finals was a 6-1 split in favor of the Opposition side.

Edzrafel Samama of AdDU A, one of the winners for the college category, said that he was proud to be a part of the winning team.

“It was a humbling experience; I felt that all the hard work the varsity (Ateneo Debate Varsity) put in the past few days and months paid off. I am very proud to be part of the [delegation] that defended the values of international humanitarian law,” he said.

Infographic from the Ateneo Debate Varsity (ADV)

Infographic from the Ateneo Debate Varsity (ADV)

The over-all results are as follows:


Overall Champion

High School: University of Immaculate Conception-A

College: Ateneo de Davao University-A


Top 5 Best Speakers (High School)

1. Mary Gabriel Barluado (UIC-A)

2. Melvin Matus (UIC-B)

3. Eshly Busalla (UIC-B)

4. Jhane Inah Jandayan (UIC-A)

5. Jonathan Damary (AdDUHS-B)


Top 10 Best Speakers (College)

1. Gilson Po (AdDU-B)

2. Hannah Keziah Dela Cerna (AdDU-B); Sean Ezekiel Año (AdDU-B)

4. Hazel Bergantinos (AdDU-A)

5. Vanessa Kate Madrazo (AdDU-A)

6. Allin Joy Camile (UPMin-A); Edzrafel Samama (AdDU-A); Irra Duremdes (UM-A)

9. Leah Aying (UPMin-A)

10. Florence Mae Desiata (UM-B); Jelica Labrador (BSU-B)


Top 5 Best Adjudicators

1. Jeric Justin Ludyawan (AdDU)

2. Trisha Aliya Dulanas (AdDU)

3. Anna Sophia Tarhata Piang (AdDU)

4. Sarah Sandy Cuarte (BSU-SSD)

5. Gilo Joy Layos (BSU)


Best Speaker of the Finals

High School: Mary Gabriel Barluado (UIC-A)

College: Hazel Bergantinos (AdDU-A)


End the silence of the gagged!

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