Basketball star Justin Donta Brownlee (right) is congratulated by Sen. Francis “Tol” N. Tolentino (left) after taking his oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines in a special ceremony at the Senate of the Philippines on Monday. Thanking all those who supported him on his journey for full Filipino citizenship, Brownlee said 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 that was unanimously adopted by the Senate on December 12, 2022. President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. signed Republic Act 11937 into law on January 12, 2023, effectively granting Brownlee Filipino citizenship. A copy of RA was presented to Brownlee by Senators Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito and Christopher Lawrence T. Go. Brownlee is expected to immediately join Gilas Pilipinas, the Philippines men’s national basketball team, and help them in their FIBA and Southeast Asian Games campaigns this year.