The Senate Committee on Justice may have approved the naturalization bids of athletes Ange Kouame and Bienvenido Maranon but not without a little test.
In jest, committee chairman Senator Richard Gordon asked Marañon if he could sing “Lupang Hinirang” during the Senate hearing.
“Do you know how to sing the national anthem?” Gordon asked.
“Of course, Mr. Chairman. I know how to sing the Filipino anthem,” the football player quickly responded.
Marañon, who is the star striker of United City FC and is originally from Spain, gladly agreed to the request of Gordon and even showed a Philippine flag before singing the entire national anthem.
Senators Sonny Angara and Juan Miguel Zubiri joined Gordon in praising Marañon.
“This is better than some of the Visaya friends I know,” Zubiri quipped.
On Wednesday, the committee approved the bills seeking to grant Filipino citizenship to Koume and Marañon.
This comes after the House of Representatives last week approved on the third and final reading the bills that granted citizenship to both athletes.
Kouame, who plays for Ateneo de Manila University, is from the Ivory Coast but plans to don the Philippine tri-colors in international competitions.
Marañon, on the other hand, has expressed his intent to play for the Philippine Azkals.