Angelo Kouame and Bienvenido Marañon are a step closer to becoming a full-pledge Filipino as House Panel approved on Second Reading the bills seeking their naturalization on Monday.

/ 10 February 2021

House Bill No. 5951 substituted by House Bill No. 8632 and House Bill No. 7427 substituted by House Bill No. 8631 for Kouame and Marañon’s naturalization, respectively, is now pending in the House of Representatives’ rules committee and will only need to pass the third and final reading on the House of Representatives.

Once their naturalization process is cleared on the lower house, the Ivorian center and the Spanish striker will be only needing to wait for the senate’s approval on their counterpart bill.

Senate Bill No. 1892 was filed by Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) Chairman and Senator Sonny Angara for Kouame, while Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri filed Senate Bill No. 1391 for Marañon’s case.

However, the bills are still pending in the upper house as of November 9, 2020, for Kouame and March 3, 2020, for Marañon.

Once approved in both chambers, Kouame and Marañon will be needing President Rodrigo Duterte’s signature as the last step to be eligible to represent the Philippine flag.

Antipolo First District Congressman and SBP Vice Chairman Rep. Robbie Puno, who is also the principal author of Kouame’s bill, expressed his gratitude to the House Panel.

“I thank my colleagues for the swift approval on second reading of House Bill No. 8632, and I anticipate its quick passage on third and final reading shortly,” he said.

The approval of their naturalization process will give a boost to the Gilas Pilipinas and Philippine Azkals in their quest to dominate the international stage.