The referral of Senate Bill No. 1336 titled An Act Granting Philippine Citizenship to Justin Brownlee had been transferred to the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights.
Under the Rules of the Senate, the said Committee shall have jurisdiction on matters relating to, among others, immigration and naturalization.
Senator Francis Tolentino, Chairman of the Committee on Justice and Human Rights, issued a notice of public hearing to discuss Brownlee’s naturalization. The first public hearing was set on November 21.
It may be recalled that during the Senate deliberations on the proposed budget of the Philippine Sports Commissions, Tolentino urged Brownlee and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) to give priority to the completion of Brownlee’s naturalization application in order for the hearings for the basketball player’s naturalization bill to commence immediately.
The naturalization efforts are in recognition Browlee’s potential to become part of the country’s Gilas Pilipinas national basketball team in the ongoing International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Basketball World Cup.
These naturalization efforts are in recognition of the potential of the 6-foot-6 Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) swingman to become part of the country’s Gilas Pilipinas national basketball team in the ongoing International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Basketball World Cup.
Under the FIBA eligibility rules, any player who seeks to represent a country must hold the legal nationality of that country.
The House Committee on Justice recently passed on first reading House Bill No. 825 – the bill granting Philippine citizenship to Brownlee.
The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel PBA player made a personal appearance in a barong, stated his intention and desire to become a Filipino citizen, and consequently help the Philippines national team bid in the FIBA.
If granted, Brownlee’s naturalization is said to be the fourth naturalization given through legislative fiat.
“Brownlee is an exceptional player in the PBA, with an average of 29.29 points per game, 10.57 rebounds per game, and 7.43 assists per game.”
“Brownlee is an exceptional player in the PBA, with an average of 29.29 points per game, 10.57 rebounds per game, and 7.43 assists per game,” Tolentino noted.
“He has lived in the Philippines for over five years. His discipline and athleticism serve as an inspiration to Filipinos. It would arouse further patriotism and Pinoy pride in each and every one of us, especially in a sport very popular in the country,” the legislator concluded.