By Genalyn Kabiling
The local Muslim community is unlikely to accept the country’s name, Philippines, which was derived from a “despot” Spanish king, President Duterte said last Monday.
The President, who has advocated the renaming of the country to Maharlika to break from the colonial past, said that even Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) chair Nur Misuari would rather be called a Tausug than a Filipino.
“He is a Tausug. Maybe he would not really consider a Filipino in the right sense because it’s a name of the king of Spain, Philip, Philippines, and that they will never be accepted by the Moro people. Believe me,” Duterte said during the 1st National Assembly of the Liga ng mga Barangay sa Pilipinas in Pasay City Monday night.
“Hindi magsabi ‘Philippines.’ ‘Pag maglabas ‘yan sila, ano ka? Ako? Tausug. Ako Maranao. Hindi magsabi ‘yan ‘Ako Pilipino.’ Maybe ‘yung mga diplomats, those who are in the career positions in government, they ought to — pero ‘yung average na Moro [They won’t say the Philippines. If they come out and are asked, who are you? Me? I am Tausug. I am Maranao. They won’t say ‘I am a Filipino.’ Maybe the diplomats or those who are in the career positions in government but not the average Moro],” he added.
Duterte, in the same speech, urged the public to read up on King Philip II of Spain to discover he was “not a good man” who had “so many wives.”
“He was a despot. Hambugero so he was lording it over because it was the Spanish era of dominance sa Europe,” he said.
“So ‘yung akin history lang. Marami pa ‘yung — ba’t papalitan pa? Well, if you do not have that sense of history in you or if you do not really relish being called a Filipino,” he added.
The country was named in honor of King Philip II by a Spanish explorer in the 16th century. The Philippines was eventually ruled by Spain for more than three centuries.
Duterte, who has detested foreign colonial rule, recently agreed with the late President Ferdinand Marcos to change the name to Maharlika to promote nationalism.
The Palace explained that the proposed renaming of the Philippines to Maharlika could be implemented through a legislation that will be presented in a referendum.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the President’s proposal on the country’s name change was “more of asserting our national identity.” “Royalty hindi ba, sa Filipino language, ‘maharlika’ means royalty,” he added.