Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Andray Blatche: Filipino citizen?

The House of Representives approved on third and final reading a bill granting Filipino citizenship to Brooklyn Nets cager Andray Blatche.

Andray Blatche: Filipino citizen?
Photo: AP/Washington Post
House Bill 4084, which was filed by Represenatative Robbie Puno, was supported by a several congressmen, including Ako Bicol Partylist Represenative Rodel Batocabe.

Meanwhile, a counterpart bill sponsored by Senator Sonny Angara is now pending in the Senate.

The proposal to confer Filipino citizenship to the Connecticut-born basketball player was raised to beef up the performance of Gilas Pilipinas which will see action in the 2014 FIBA World Championships in Spain this coming August.

Under the rules, teams are allowed to field one naturalized player in the World Championships.

Bicolano fans of Gilas Pilipinas, however, are divided on the issue. In reactions received by BICOL STANDARD, some have expressed their disagreement with the bill, saying that it would be better if natural-born Filipino citizens would represent the country in the international event. Others, meanwhile, claim that it is alright for the Philippines to confer citizenship to Blatche, as long as it is voluntary on his part to be a Filipino.

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