• 02/21/2019
  • 11:37 PM
League Online News


MANILA -- President Rodrigo R. Duterte recently voiced out another controversial rhetoric again, suggesting to rename “Philippines” to “The Republic of Maharlika.

Netizens shared the dismay to the president’s ‘untimely’ suggestion because of the country’s state is still in various turmoil. When it hit the headlines, some though, supported Duterte’s plan.

The Palace was quick to defend the chief executive and his aspiration for the Philippines in its conquest for identity.

"Tingnan natin how (Let’s see how)… how it evolves. He is expressing an idea again… as usual,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.

Although it was only an idea, Panelo said this might materialize. However, it is really up to Congress to enact a law to change the country’s name as he explained.

“Congress may enact a law that can change the name of the country and then submit it to the people for a referendum,” Panelo said.

“By proposing a bill, then magde-deliberate ‘yun sa Congress ‘di lahat ng mga players puwede niya imbitihan (then it will be deliberated in Congress so all players can be invited),” he added.

Panelo said that if the charter change pushes through, it is possible for the country to be renamed.

“Some may argue, ‘you can no longer change that kasi (because) it’s in the Constitution.’ Others may argue also that ‘hindi kaya lang inilagay sa Constitution (it’s not in the Constitution),’” Panelo said.

“So, kung palitan natin ng batas, automatically puwede mo ring palitan (But if we change the Constitution, you can also change the name),” he added.

When asked why Duterte came up with the idea to rename the Philippines, Panelo said that it might be the President’s way of “asserting our national identity.”

“Well his reason is, the word ‘maharlika’ is a Malay word. And ‘di ba, marami nang nag-criticize na iyong Philippines was named after King Philip (And remember, there were many criticizing the fact that Philippines was named after King Philip),” Panelo said.

Panelo was referring to Philip II, king of Spain during the Spanish colonization of the country in the 16th century.

He said the President might have preferred the name “Maharlika” because it means “royalty.”

On Monday, Duterte first suggested changing the country’s name agreeing with former President Ferdinand Marcos' proposal.

“Philippines because it was discovered by Magellan using the money of King Philip. Kaya pagdating ng u***, ginawang (So when he came here, he named it) Philippines. Pero okay na 'yan. Balang araw palitan natin (But that’s okay. Maybe it can be changed someday),” Duterte said in a speech in Buluan, Maguindanao.

“Actually, tama si Marcos. Panahon ni Marcos, tama talaga si Marcos. Gusto niya palitan. Maharlika (Actually, Marcos was right. During Marcos’ time, he was really right. He wanted to change it to Maharlika). The Republic of Maharlika because Maharlika is a Malay word and it means more of a concept of serenity and peace,” he explained.

Panelo, however, said that it was not Marcos who first came up with the idea to rename the country to Maharlika but could not remember who did.

“Actually, that’s not Mr. Marcos’ idea. I forgot the name of that person. But Mr. Marcos at that time welcomed that idea, but it was not his original (idea),” Panelo said.

Panelo cited how former Batasang Pambansa member Eddie Ilarde filed Parliamentary Bill 195 in 1978, which sought to change the country’s name to Maharlika.


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