JUSTIN Brownlee is set to officially become a Filipino after President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. signed into law a bill granting Philippine citizenship through naturalization.
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas executive director and spokesperson Sonny Barrios confirmed the development that was relayed to him by Sen. Francis Tolentino, chairman of the Senate Committee on Justice, on Thursday night.
The law will take effect 15 days following its publication in the Official Gazette and newspapers of general circulation.
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Last month, the Senate and the House of Representatives passed bills granting Filipino citizenship to Brownlee, primarily so he can be eligible to play for Gilas Pilipinas as a naturalized player.
The SBP is targeting the February window of the Fiba Basketball World Cup Asian qualifiers for Brownlee’s debut with Gilas Pilipinas.
Barrios said the SBP is thankful to the people that made the naturalization possible led by President Marcos and Tolentino, who, Barrios said, “worked hard to fast track Brownlee's naturalization process after it was approved by the Lower House.”
“PBBM signing shows his resolve to strengthen Gilas Pilipinas lineup to make our national team more competitive this February window six qualifiers,” said Barrios.