Football star Marañon thanks House lawmakers as naturalization makes major progress

Published February 17, 2021, 12:12 PM

by Jonas Terrado

Bienevido Marañon thanked the House of Representatives for approving on the third and final reading a bill that will grant him Filipino citizenship.

The Spanish-born striker of the Philippines Football League champion United City took a major step in his bid to suit up as a naturalized player of the Philippine Azkals after members of the lower house unanimously voted for the bill during Tuesday’s plenary session.

“I would like to say thanks to the House of Representatives, to the Committee on Justice and to all of Congress, especially (Manila first district representative) Manny Lopez who helped me a lot,” Marañon said in a video message posted on his Facebook page Wednesday, Feb. 17.

Marañon also showed his gratitude to other key figures, namely former Bacolod representative and mayor Monico Puentebella, Azkals team manager Dan Palami and Philippine Football Federation president Nonong Araneta.

The bill, however, still needs the approval of the Senate where an own version was filed last year by Senator Miguel Zubiri.

Still, Marañon is ecstatic that the prospect playing for the national team is close to becoming a reality.

“I would like to be one of you, to be part of (the) Azkals and I would like to be part of Philippine football’s development. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas at maraming salamat,” said Marañon.