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Ginebra import Justin Brownlee / PNA

House committee approves naturalization of Brownlee

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Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) import player Justin Donta Brownlee, who is a member of the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel basketball team, has hurdled a key step to becoming a Filipino citizen, according to a report by Philippine News Agency.

This, after the House Committee on Justice chaired by Representative Juliet Marie Ferrer (4th District, Negros Occidental) on Wednesday approved House Bill (HB) No. 825, a measure seeking for his naturalization as a full pledged citizen of the Philippines.

HB 825, which was authored by Rep. Michael Romero, Ph.D. (Party-list, 1-PACMAN), was approved after a brief discussion on Brownlee’s personal information and matters surrounding his desire and willingness to become a member of the Filipino community.


The hearing actually took around 30 minutes before Cavite Fourth District congressman Pidi Barzaga moved for the approval of the bill. Several government agencies such as the Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), and Bureau of Immigration (BI) had no objection over the import’s naturalization.

The approval of Brownlee’s citizenship on the first reading marked the initial step in his bid to play for Gilas Pilipinas in international competitions.

Romero said Brownlee, an American professional basketball player, has brought enormous pride and joy to the Philippine Basketball Association, as well as to all basketball enthusiasts in the country.

Brownlee said he has a lot of love from the fans and the people of the Philippines, “and it would be great to be a part of the country, and keep helping out as much as I can with the national team.”

Brownlee, who was born on April 23, 1988 in Georgia, USA, thanked committee chair Ferrer after the hearing: “Maraming salamat po.”

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