Defend PH sovereignty rather than change its name — Bayan Muna

By: - Correspondent / @melvingasconINQ
/ 05:12 AM February 14, 2019

The government should focus on defending Philippine sovereignty rather than worry about “superficial” matters like changing the country’s name to “Maharlika,” a party-list group said on Wednesday.

Bayan Muna chair Neri Colmenares said changing the country’s name would be meaningless, with countries like China and the United States trampling upon the sovereignty of Filipinos.


“Before we even think of changing the Philippines’ name, we must defend its sovereignty first,” he said in a tweet.

Colmenares, an independent senatorial aspirant, was reacting to reports that President Rodrigo Duterte would like to change the country’s name to Maharlika, as dictator Ferdinand Marcos had also proposed.


In a speech in Maguindanao on Monday, the Philippines said Marcos was right in seeking to change the name of the country.

But Colmenares mocked the proposal, saying the change of name was a “nonissue.”

“Let us prioritize the more pressing problems of our country: the price hikes, high taxes and contractualization of our workers, and our fight for our territory in the West Philippine Sea,” he said.

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate expressed dismay that the United States and China were treating the Duterte administration as a “pushover,” doing what they wanted not only in Bajo de Masinloc (international name: Scarborough Shoal), but in the rest of the West Philippine Sea “with nary a whimper from Malacañang.”

Eddie Ilarde’s idea

It turns out, it was not Marcos who came up with the idea of changing the country’s name to Maharlika.

According to the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, the proposal to change the name of the country was introduced in 1978 by former lawmaker Eddie Ilarde.


Parliamentary Bill No. 195 sought to change the name Philippines to Maharlika, as homage to the people’s heritage.

“Maha” is supposedly Sanskrit for “noble” or “great” while “Likha” is the Filipino word for “create.”

Symbol of ignominy

Ilarde, founding president-chair of Maharlika Movement for National Transformation, on Wednesday praised the President for supporting his proposal.

Asked what was wrong with the country’s name, Ilarde said: “King Philip II of Spain, the person we have been named after, was a symbol of ignominy — son of first cousins, burned alive thousands of Muslims, beheaded thousands of Protestants in Europe, married his first cousin and nieces, was excommunicated by Pope Paul IV in 1552 for looting Rome, died of a sexually transmitted disease.’’

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TAGS: Bayan Muna, Carlos Isagani Zarate, Eddie Ilarde, Maharlika, Maharlika Movement for National Transformation, Neri Colmenares, Philippines name, Rodrigo Duterte
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