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Palace: Changing country’s name to ‘Maharlika’ requires law, referendum

Palace: Changing country’s name to ‘Maharlika’ requires law, referendum

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo. INQUIRER/JOAN BONDOC

MANILA, Philippines – Renaming the Philippines would need a law and a referendum, Malacañang said Tuesday, a day after President Rodrigo Duterte manifested his concurrence to the idea of changing the country’s name to “Maharlika.”

READ: Duterte agrees with Marcos’ idea of renaming ‘Philippines’ to ‘Maharlika’

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“The Constitution provides that Congress may enact a law that can change the name of the country and submit it to the people for a referendum,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a Palace briefing.

In his speech in Buluan town in Maguindanao on Monday, Duterte said: “Wala na tayong magawa. Philippines. Philippines because it was discovered by (Ferdinand) Magellan using the money of King Philip. Kaya pagdating ng ulol ginawang Philippines. Pero okay na ‘yan, balang araw palitan natin.”

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“Actually, tama si (Ferdinand) Marcos. Panahon ni Marcos, tama talaga si Marcos. Gusto niya palitan (ng) Maharlika… the Republic of Maharlika. Gusto niya palitan it means… more of concept of serenity and peace,” he added.

According to Panelo, Duterte just wanted to “assert our national identity” when he stated his praise to the idea of renaming the Philippines to Maharlika.

“[It is] more of asserting our national identity,” he said, dismissing perception that it was a resentment of the Spanish rule in the country.

Duterte has repeatedly expressed his admiration to the late strongman, Ferdinand Marcos, whom he even called his “idol.” /kga

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