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BROWNLEE PH CITIZENSHIP BID GETS HOUSE OK

The House of Representatives approved on its third and final reading House Bill No. 6224, otherwise known as “An Act Granting Philippine Citizenship to Justin Donta Brownlee.”

There were 274 affirmative votes, zero negative votes, and one abstention on the bill.

On the same day after the approval of the naturalization bill in the lower house and the transmission of the committee report to the Senate, Senator Francis Tolentino, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, immediately sponsored the committee report in the Senate floor, taking into consideration Senate Bill Nos. 1366, 1516, and 1519.

“Karangalan ko pong isulong ang pagiging Pilipino ng isang kilalang basketball player na naninirahan na po sa ating bansa for the last 6 years.”

“As a member of the Barangay Ginebra, Mr. President, and some of our colleagues here, karangalan ko pong isulong ang pagiging Pilipino ng isang kilalang basketball player na naninirahan na po sa ating bansa for the last 6 years. Compared to other athletes who are granted the Filipino citizenship before, Justin Donta Brownlee has been with the Filipinos for the last 6 years,” Tolentino said in his sponsorship speech, emphasizing the PBA Barangay Ginebra import’s acclimatization to the Philippines.

The lawmaker then explained that pursuant to Congress’ constitutional power, it has the legislative authority under Article VI, Section 1 of the 1987 Constitution, to grant Filipino citizenship to certain foreign nationals for their significant contribution or notable service to the country and to the people.

“This, Mr. Brownlee has exemplified – as an exceptional basketball player and as a role model for the Filipino youth,” the senator said.

The six-foot-six PBA player had also stated his willingness to join the Philippine Army Reserve Force.

The six-foot-six PBA player had also stated his willingness to join the Philippine Army Reserve Force.

During the Senate Committee on Justice’s first hearing on Brownlee’s naturalization bid, Tolentino asked whether Brownlee would be willing to defend the Philippines, participate in any disaster, calamity, and rescue operations, and join the country’s army reserve force.

To all questions, Brownlee replied, “Opo (yes).”

The evident willingness of Brownlee to be a Filipino citizen, which includes not just the honor and privilege of representing the country in the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Basketball World Cup, but also the responsibility to render service to defend the country, were all recognized by the senators present.

Other lawmakers who expressed their support for Brownlee’s naturalization in the plenary were Senators Bato dela Rosa, Bong Go, Jinggoy Estrada, and Joel Villanueva.

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