Senate approves Kouame, Marañón PHL citizenship

Originally published by BUSINESSMIRROR

SENATORS gave their thumbs up on Monday the naturalization of Ivorian basketball player Kakou Ange Franck Williams Kouame and Spanish football player Bienvenido Marañón Morejón.

In a unanimous vote of all 23 senators present, the Senate approved on third and final reading House Bill No. 8631 under Committee Report No. 188 granting Filipino citizenship to 34-year-old striker Morejón.

The senators also voted 23-0-0 to pass on third reading House Bill No. 8632 under Committee Report No. 189 granting citizenship to Kouame.

Sen. Richard Gordon, chairman of the Committee on Justice and Human Rights, said the naturalization process “values the opportunity to become more closely knit to the fabric of Philippine society.”

We are excited for them to be naturalized because they have proven that they really want to be Filipinos, but they also have to be exemplary, to be an inspiration to the Filipinos,” Gordon said.

Gordon stressed that naturalization is a privilege, not a right, and that the candidates must have moral values and should be free from any legal impediment.

The counterpart versions of the measures, Senate Bill No. 1391, filed by Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel “Migz” F. Zubiri for Marañón, and Senate Bill No. 2058, authored by Gordon for Kouame, were passed on second reading last week, amending the effectivity of the law to immediately.

Since counterpart measures were already passed in the House of Representatives last month, both measures will become a law after President Rodrigo Duterte signs them and after its publication in Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation.

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