Ateneo School of Law Holds Debate


Spearheaded by Professorial Chair Holder Dean Sedfrey M. Candelaria, the Ateneo Law School held the first ever Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban Liberty & Prosperity Debate (Finals) on March 13, 2013 at the Justitia Hall of the Ateneo Law School, Rockwell Center. The debate was conducted in lieu of a formal lecture by Dean Candelaria, and served as an engaging follow-through of his lecture—this time letting the students take the lead in understanding the judicial philosophy of Liberty and Prosperity under the Rule of Law.

The purpose of the debate finals was to thresh out the constitutionality of the  Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport (APECO)  by arguing for or against the proposition to amend R.A. 9490 otherwise known as the Aurora Special Economic Zone Act of 2007 (Republic Act No. 10083). Debate teams impressed the diverse audience and earned accolades from the Chief Justice himself.

The teams consisted of Block 1-B’s Christopher Reyes, Leo Arman Galang, and Kenneth Varona (Affirmative Side: click to read the Position Paper in PDF); and Block 1-A’s Ponce Lopez, Abby Castelo, and Steffi Sales (Negative Side: click to read the Position Paper in PDF). The former argued the unconstitutionality of R.A. 10083, stressing the negative implications on social justice and human rights, while the latter weighed on the difference between implementation issues as questions of fact and enduring questions of law and justiciable controversies. After more than an hour of energetic exchanges and witty quips between the teams, the judges hailed the negative panel as champion.

The debate was successfully organized in partnership with the St. Thomas More: Society of Advocates of the Ateneo Law School.


Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban Constitutional Law Debate (Finals)
at the Ateneo Law School’s Justitia Hall


Affirmative opening speaker Mr. Leo Galang of Block 1-B 


Block 1-A’s Ms. Steffi Sales speaks for the Negative panel


The Affirmative side listening to the points raised by Ms. Steffi Sales of Block 1-A


The  panel of judges with ANC Debates champions Mr. Michael Victoriano and Ms. Kristel Tiu


CJ Panganiban and Dean Candelaria in an engaging conversation during intermission


Chief Justice Panganiban with wife Elenita C. Panganiban, and Dean Candelaria
awarding “Best Debater” to Ms. Abby Castelo (Negative side)


Negative panel accepts trophy for championing
the Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban Constitutional Law Debate Finals


The Affirmative side accepts trophy for placing second

(Watch this video introduction courtesy of the St. Thomas More: Society of Advocates)


ATENEO DEBATE Re APECO Position Paper (Affirmative) – PDF

ATENEO DEBATE Re APECO Position Paper (Negative) – PDF