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    Senate approves Brownlee naturalization bill on third and final reading

    Dec 12, 2022
    Justin Brownlee Senate naturalization

    THE Senate has approved on third and final reading its bill granting Filipino citizenship to Justin Brownlee on Monday.

    All twenty-one senators present in the regular session voted in the affirmative, moving the resident import of Barangay Ginebra in the PBA closer to formally becoming a Filipino citizen through naturalization.

    [READ: Team USA to play World Cup group games in Manila]

    Brownlee personally attended Monday’s session, and unfurled a Philippine flag shortly after the bill was approved on final reading.

    With the House of Representatives also having a similar bill on Brownlee, a bicameral committee is now set to be formed for amendments before the bill is transmitted to Malacanang for President Bongbong Marcos' signature.


      Once signed into law, Brownlee can now begin the process of documentation, such as the obtaining of his passport, so that he can be eligible to play for the country in international competition.

      Both Houses are acting swiftly in order for Brownlee to be naturalized in time for Gilas Pilipinas’ stint in the sixth and final window of the Fiba Basketball World Cup Asian qualifiers in February where they will be playing two games at home.

      Justine Brownlee with Sen. Sonny Angara, who is chairman of the SBP.


      As the author of one of the bills that sought the naturalization of Brownlee, Sen. Sonny Angara said the addition of Brownlee will provide further depth and firepower to Gilas in games against Lebanon and Jordan at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.

      “We would like to express our gratitude to our colleagues here in the Senate and the House of Representatives who gave their full support to the naturalization of Brownlee," said Angara, who is chairman of the SBP.

      "After several years of playing as an import in the PBA, Brownlee has now deemed the Philippines as his second home and has demonstrated a strong desire to contribute to the country as a future player of our Gilas Pilipinas squad,” Angara added.

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      Senate president Juan Miguel Zubiri urged Brownlee to value the Filipino citizenship that is being given to him.

      “Your citizenship was given to you in a very brief manner because of the need to have a very good player for the Philippine team. But you being given the responsibility, sir, of having full civil and political rights as a Filipino, please put that in heart," he said.

      "Because not only are you going to play in the Philippine team, you can also even elect leaders in the future for the good of the country because we are giving you full civil and political rights.

      “All we ask, Mr. Brownlee, is to play your heart and soul for our country. You are now an adopted Filipino and you will be loved as a Filipino by each and everyone of us. And hopefully, you’ll be able to promote our country all over the world,” said Zubiri.

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