Press Release
May 21, 2014

On the measure granting Philippine citizenship
to NBA player Mr. Andray Blatche

(Committee Report 27 on House Bill 4084, Senate Bill 2108)

Let me put on record that I am not blocking the measure granting Filipino citizenship to Mr. Andray Blatche. That is not my purpose when I stood in this august hall. When I posed certain questions regarding the bill granting Mr. Blatche Filipino citizenship, it was not for the purpose of preventing him to eventually play for the Philippine Team in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

As a basketball aficionado myself, I want to see our national team succeed and become world champions.

I rise because I am vehemently against the apparently arbitrary and seemingly two-pence procedure of conferring citizenship through legislation. I strongly believe that someone has to put a stop to this practice. As the good sponsor of this measure, Senator Sonny Angara, has said, "citizenship is not an ordinary privilege bestowed to any individual." To be a Filipino citizen comes with a great responsibility. Thus, Congress must be very judicious in the exercise of its power in granting Filipino citizenship through legislation.

Kung ang pagbibigay nga ng Filipino citizenship under administrative or judicial process ay parang dumadaan ka sa butas ng karayom at taon pa ang binibilang, because one has to go through a very stringent and strict screening process, aba'y dapat ganoon din ka-sinop at ka-busisi kung ito ay sa pamamagitan ng pagsasabatas.

Having said that, Mr. President, I was given a copy of the sworn affidavit executed by Mr. Blatche. Aside from his intention to play for the Philippine Team, he also stated that he intends to embrace the customs, traditions, and ideals of a Filipino. I just hope and pray that he makes good with this intention.

Thank you, Mr. President.

News Latest News Feed