Change in name will be good for Philippines | Inquirer Opinion

Change in name will be good for Philippines

/ 12:16 AM July 15, 2016

After a difficult and seemingly endless trek, the Philippines has finally found its rock star, nay, savior—Rodrigo Roa Duterte, its 16th president, the first from the “Land of Promise,” Mindanao.

President Duterte’s political savvy, his complete understanding of the Philippine situation, his full knowledge in dealing with it, his vast experience as a no-nonsense leader, and his being a maverick have propelled him to the top of Philippine officialdom. And his eclectic selection of his Cabinet leaves an objective observer mesmerized—he can easily sashay to the left or to the right or to the center of the political spectrum. His leadership is driven just by pure intention and deep commitment to serve his country and his countrymen. No other president before him had this much.


Mr. Duterte is truly godsend.

And he has marvelous plans for the Philippines.


At the start of his six-year term of office, he wants to change an ineffective and outmoded Constitution via an elected constitutional convention (Con-con) or an appointed constitutional commission (Con-com), whichever is feasible, not only to effect drastic changes but also to adopt a federal-presidential form of government, a la the United States’. The shift, it is hoped, will bring a long and lasting peace, progress and development to the Philippines.

Also in order is a change in the borrowed name of the Philippines and, consequently, a new map that will clearly delineate our territories, to include Sabah and the West Philippine Sea. “The Federated Islands/States of Maharlika” or simply “Maharlika” would be a more appropriate, noble-sounding and dignified new official name for the Philippines. It will be symbolic of the country’s total national transformation. Should this noble initiative become a reality, Mr. Duterte will be Maharlika’s first president.

Changing the name of the Philippines to Maharlika has been a lifelong advocacy of former senator Eddie Ilarde, who took his cue from many countries that have changed their colonial name to a robust, dignified name. Matter of factly, these countries’ destinies changed for the better after the name change.

Actually, the “Maharlika initiative” started in Ilarde’s early political career. It was—still is—one of his visions for the country he loves as dearly as President Duterte does. Ilarde, now approaching 82, as well as his legions of loyal and faithful fans, will be ecstatic and joyful should Mr. Duterte push this noble initiative as one of the top priority measures in the upcoming Con-con or Con-com. Ilarde’s wisdom is readily available should Mr. Duterte and his officials need it. Ilarde is still into broadcasting (his profession before politics beckoned).

Mr. Duterte’s astonishing landslide victory in the last May 9 presidential election should serve him in good stead. There is no need for propaganda or survey-laden communications for the Duterte administration to impress the people. It has just to make sure he is doing his job—and doing it well, because the people will see everything, including those hidden deliberately and unconscionably.

—MANUEL P. CALAUNAN, Project 4, Quezon City

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TAGS: Maharlika, name change, Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte
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