Senate approves Brownlee naturalization

Justin Brownlee hands his Gilas Pilipinas jersey to Sen. Sonny Angara following Senate’s approval of his application for naturalization. Photo courtesy of Sen. Sonny Angara

The Senate formally approved on third and final reading House Bill No. 6224 or the proposed measure seeking to grant Philippine citizenship to Barangay Ginebra resident import Justin Donta Brownlee.

“With 21 affirmative votes, no negative votes, and no abstentions, House Bill No. 6224 granting Philippine citizenship to Justin Donta Brownlee is hereby approved on third and final reading,” Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said.

In his speech, Senator Francis Tolentino, the sponsor of the measure in the Senate, expressed his gratitude to his colleagues for supporting Brownlee’s naturalization.

Tolentino said Brownlee, who physically attended the plenary session, is currently in the middle of the practice for the Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup but decided to show up to show his appreciation for the body’s approval of his citizenship.

“To say that Mr. Brownlee is an outstanding basketball player is an understatement. He will surely reinforce the Gilas Team in the FIBA World Cup qualifiers next year,” he said.

Also, Senator Sonny Angara said the naturalization of Brownlee will beef up the roster of Gilas Pilipinas during the sixth window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers in February while providing even more excitement to Filipino fans.

Angara, one of the authors of the bills that sought the naturalization of Brownlee, said the addition of Brownlee to Gilas Pilipinas will provide depth and firepower when it goes up against Lebanon and Jordan in February 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,” he said.

“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,” he added.

The naturalization bills were filed by Senators Ronald Dela Rosa, Bong Go, Angara and Joel Villanueva, and were taken up in the Committee on Justice and Human Rights headed by Tolentino.

In the House of Representatives, the bills were filed by Reps. Mikee Romero and Gus Tambunting. SBP Vice Chairman Robbie Puno was among the co-authors of the bill.

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