The UP Mindanao Debate Society team emerged as champions in the first edition of The Novice Debate (TND) in an online competition on 15 and 16 August 2020. Frederick Omalza, an alumnus of the BS Biology program, and Michael John Galendez, a second-year BS Agribusiness Economics student, triumphed in a 5-2 split decision with convincing rebuttals to a motion for capable individuals to forgo non-essential activities in times of crisis.
“We argued that people in vulnerable situations need alternatives to avoid psychological degradation and for people to help in ways they can be most effective,” said Galendez.
The Omalza-Galendez duo survived rigorous elimination rounds and reached the semi-finals where they won by unanimous decision against a Malaysian team in their opposition to the motion for the United States to intervene in the India-China conflict.
“We argued that the US should not intervene because it has the potential to give a strategic excuse for the Chinese Communist Party to legitimize further military actions in the Himalayas,” said Galendez.
The UP Mindanao Debate Society has previously competed and placed in various regional and national debates and were champions in the Mindanao International Humanitarian Law Debates 2017. Omalza was awarded 4th Best Judge in the Taiwan Debate Open 2019.
TND was in British Parliamentary format and joined by 40 teams from debate institutions all over Asia. This year’s edition span motions in philosophy, law, international relations, crisis, pop culture, technology, and tourism. Novice debaters are ones who have not participated in major international debate tournaments.