Duterte agrees: PH should be called 'Republic of Maharlika'

Ruth Abbey Gita
PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Monday, February 11, said he was amenable to the proposal to rename the Philippines to "Maharlika."In a speech in Baluan, Maguindanao, Duterte said changing the country's

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Monday, February 11, said he was amenable to the proposal to rename the Philippines to "Maharlika."

In a speech in Baluan, Maguindanao, Duterte said changing the country's name to "Maharlika", which means nobility, should be done in the near future.

He said the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos did the "right" thing when he promoted the name "Maharlika".

"Philippines. [It's named] Philippines because it was discovered by Magellan using the money from King Philip [II]. Kaya pag dating ng ulol, ginawang Philippines (That's why when the stupid explorer came, he named it the Philippines)," Duterte said.

"Pero okay na 'yan. Balang araw palitan natin. Actually tama si Marcos, panahon ni Marcos, tama talaga si Marcos. Gusto niya palitan [ng] Maharlika, the Republic of Maharlika because Maharlika is a Malay word and it means serenity. Tama si Marcos nun," he added.

(But that would be fine. In the future, let's change it. Actually, Marcos was right. He wanted to change [the Philippines's name] to Maharlika, the Republic of Maharlika because Maharlika is a Malay word and it means serenity. Marcos was right.)

The Philippines was named in honor of King Philip II of Spain II, after the arrival of Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan in the country in March 1521.

The proposal to change the name Philippines to "Maharlika" was initiated by then-Batasang Pambansa member Eddie Ilarde through Parliamentary Bill filed in 1978.

Marcos, who was the President at that time, supported Ilarde's proposal, but the measure was not approved because the term was seen as imperial in nature by several ethnic groups.

In June 2017, Magdalo Party-list Representative Gary Alejano filed a measure, calling for the creation of a commission that will look into renaming the Philippines. (SunStar Philippines)