/ 12 January 2023

SENATOR Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada commended Ateneo de Manila University students for their extraordinary win in the World Universities Debating Championship, saying the historic first win for the country deserves the highest commendation from the Senate.

“Their momentous victory is proof of the Filipino students’ capacity to stand alongside the world’s best young speakers and thinkers,” Estrada said.

He filed Senate Resolution 416 commending and congratulating David Demitri Africa and Tobi Leung for winning the WUDC 2023 last January 3 in Madrid, Spain.

“Their mastery of the art of persuasion, critical thinking, and creative formulation of ideas honed through years of dedication, study, and discipline, even at such a young age, are positive characteristics that are worthy of emulation, especially for our students,” he said.

It was the first time that a team from the Philippines or Southeast Asia clinched the top prize in the competition, which is usually ruled by English-speaking countries.

ADMU also became the second university in Asia to bag the championship title, after the same was won by BRAC University of Bangladesh in 2022.

The duo from the Ateneo Debate Society, who are both students of Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics with a specialization in Data Science, went head-to-head against representatives from Princeton University, Tel Aviv University and Sofia University in the grand finals.

Leung was named the second best speaker, the highest rank ever achieved by a Filipino in the WUDC, while Africa was ranked eighth overall best speaker.