By Liza Soriano
New Filipino Citizen: Senator Francis Tolentino administers the Oath of Allegiance to Justin Brownlee as a Filipino Citizen following the approval of Republic Act 11937 at the Senate Building recently. (PRIB photo courtesy)
MANILA — Senator Francis Tolentino administered the taking of the oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines of basketball phenom Justin Donta Brownlee on Monday (16 January 2023).
Brownlee thanked all those who supported him on his journey for full Filipino citizenship, adding that his experience has been “unbelievable” as he has received strong support from many Filipinos, especially from lawmakers in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
“As a citizen, I will try my best to make the Filipino people and everybody proud. I want to keep making you guys proud and do whatever I can to help the national team,” Brownlee said.
Tolentino was the primary sponsor of House Bill No. 6224 which was unanimously adopted by the Senate on December 12, 2022.
President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. signed Republic Act (RA) 11937 into law on January 12, 2023, effectively granting Brownlee Filipino citizenship.
Brownlee is expected to immediately join Gilas Pilipinas, the Philippines men’s national basketball team, and help them qualify for both the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) World Cup and Southeast Asian Games later this year.