Senate panel OKs bill granting Filipino citizenship to Kouame, Marañon
MANILA, Philippines — The Senate justice committee approved on Wednesday bills seeking to grant Filipino citizenship to Ivorian basketball player Angelo Kouame and Spanish football striker Bienvenido Marañon.
During the hearing, where Kouame and Marañon were virtually present, the committee approved the proposed naturalization of the foreign athletes.
— Sonny Angara (@sonnyangara) February 24, 2021
Kouame’s naturalization bill was filed by Senator Sonny Angara and is being pushed by Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) for the country’s hosting of the 2023 FIBA World Cup.
Approved in the committee! The bills seeking to grant Filipino citizenship to basketball big man Angelo Kouame (filed by Sen. Sonny Angara) and football striker Bienvenido Marañón Morejón (filed by Sen. Zubiri) have hurdled the Senate Cmtee on Justice chaired by Sen. Dick Gordon pic.twitter.com/bp3xBTBPG4
— Alagang Angara (@SonnyAngaraNews) February 24, 2021
Kouame, who hails from West Africa’s Ivory Coast, was included in the 16-man lineup of Gilas Pilipinas for the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifiers in Manama, Bahrain, but was not able to suit up due to his pending naturalization.
The center from Ateneo was named UAAP Rookie of the Year in 2018.
Marañon’s citizenship bill, meanwhile, is authored by Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri.
If granted Filipino citizenship, Marañon is being considered to play with Philippine Azkals.
Last Feb. 16, the House of Representatives approved the bills House Bill No. 8632 and 8631 which grants Filipino citizenship Kouame and Marañon, respectively.