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Congress approves Kouame naturalization bill

Ange Kouame just got the congressional nod. Nikki Collantes (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--At about the same time the House of Representatives cleared Bienve Maranon for naturalization pending the situation at the Senate and the presidential office, the lower chamber also approved a similar House Bill for Ange Kouame.

The Congress also said yes to the Ateneo center's naturalization after passing House Bill 8632 on its final reading on Tuesday.

With all the 210 representatives tasked to make a vote approving the said bill, Kouame took a step forward in his own bid to become a Filipino citizen.

A group led by former Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas vice chairman Robbie Puno and NorthPort team owner Mikee Romero filed HB 8632.

The next step to Kouame's naturalization is the approval of a separate bill filed in the Senate.

Senator Sonny Angara, also the SBP chairman, filed Senate Bill 1692 for the case of Kouame.

If the senators vote to approve the bill, then only the nod of President Rodrigo Duterte will complete the process.

But on whether Duterte's approval will happen before the third window of the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers remains a question at the moment.

Kouame was ruled out of the second window in Manama, Bahrain last November because HB 8632 was still pending in the Congress that time.

The SBP was also keen on having an all-Filipino Gilas Men team for the third window prior to its postponement.

With the final window likely to be pushed to next month, the Senate has a chance to approve Angara's bill just in time.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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