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Senate approves Justin Brownlee naturalization on final reading

Justin Brownlee takes a photo with SBP executive director Sonny Barrios, chairman Sonny Angara, and Gilas Pilipinas manager Butch Antonio after the Ginebra import got the nod from the Senate for his naturalization.
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Justin Brownlee is just one step away from becoming a Filipino citizen after the Senate approved in the third and final reading Senate Bill 1336 which seeks the naturalization of Ginebra's resident import.

On Monday, the 21 senators present in the plenary unanimously voted yes to Brownlee's naturalization, which means the bill as well as House Bill 6224 which also seeks the granting of Filipino citizenship to Brownlee at the congressional level, can now be transmitted to MalacaƱang for President Bongbong Marcos' approval.

The congressmen also virtually approved House Bill 6224, with NorthPort team owner Mikee Romero as an author along with Congressman Gus Tambunting and Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas vice chairman Robbie Puno as a co-author, unanimously with 274 representatives voting yes and one other opting to abstain.

Marcos could either sign Brownlee's naturalization into law outright or lapse it into law after 30 days from the transmission.

The chief executive is currently in Brussels for an official trip.

“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,” Senator Sonny Angara, also the chairman of the SBP, said in a statement.

Once his naturalization becomes formal, Brownlee will make an oath of allegiance to the Philippines and will then apply for a Philippine passport right after.

“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.

Once he gets a clearance from FIBA, Brownlee will become eligible for Gilas Pilipinas in the sixth window of the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers in February at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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