MANILA – The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved on third and final reading a measure seeking to grant Filipino citizenship to Barangay Ginebra resident import Justin Brownlee.
With 274 affirmative votes, no negative vote, and one abstention, the chamber passed House Bill 6224 to allow Brownlee as a naturalized player of Gilas Pilipinas to the FIBA Basketball World Cup next year by granting him Philippine citizenship.
Speaker Martin Romualdez, author of the measure, said this is the House's "humble contribution to assist the national basketball team's quest for glory in the FIBA World Cup.”
"Anything is possible if you put your heart or ‘puso’ into it. Speaking of puso, we commend Justin for his desire in joining Gilas Pilipinas in this path, to represent the Philippines, which is his home in this corner of the world," Romualdez said.
Brownlee signed a basketball and gave it to Romualdez as a token of gratitude during his courtesy visit at the House on Tuesday afternoon.
1-PACMAN Party-list Rep. Mikee Romero, another author of the bill, highlighted Brownlee's achievements and credentials before the plenary.
“Throughout Mr. Brownlee’s very decorated and illustrious career in the PBA, he was able to attain five PBA championships and two Best Import awards with the career averages of 28.9 points per game, 12 rebounds per game, 5.6 assists per game, 1.9 steals per game, and 1.7 blocks per game. He is also the first PBA import to record 400+ three pointers made and ranks first among PBA imports for 3 points made with 404 as of July 24, 2022. Lastly, he ranks as fifth in the all-time PBA imports scoring leaders with 4,539 points as of April 2022,” Romero said.
He described Brownlee as a "truly dependable ally" who would help Gilas Pilipinas men’s basketball team in their "quest to proudly represent our country in the upcoming February 2023 sixth and final window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, which will be hosted by the Philippines, and the FIBA World Cup 2023.″
The bill states that upon the taking of the Oath of Allegiance to the Philippines before an officer duly authorized to administer such oath, registration with the Bureau of Immigration, and issuance of his Certificate of Naturalization, Brownlee shall enter upon the full enjoyment of Philippine citizenship. (PNA)