Palace says renaming Philippines to Maharlika needs congressional act, referendum
Renaming the Philippines to Maharlika needs a congressional act and once there is a law, it will be subject to a referendum, Malacanang said on Tuesday.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the 1987 Constitution provides that Congress may enact a law that can change the name of the country "and submit it to the people for referendum."
The talks about changing the Philippines' name came after President Rodrigo Duterte, in a speech in Maguindanao on Monday, said he supports the position before of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos to rename the country as the "Republic of Maharlika."
"Actually, Marcos was right. During Marcos' time...he wanted to change the name (of the Philippines). The Republic of Maharlika because Maharlika is a Malay word and it means more of a concept of serenity and peace," he has said.
Duterte has disliked how the country got its name, Philippines.
He said it came from King Philip of Spain, which colonized the country for centuries. Celerina Monte/DMS