Philippines mulls name change

By Riyaz ul Khaliq

ANKARA (AA) – The Philippines is mulling a name change, local media reports said on Tuesday.

Newspaper Manila Bulletin reported President Rodrigo Duterte wants to change the country’s name from the Philippines to “Maharlika”.

The country was named after King Philip II when the it was a Spanish colony.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said: “The Constitution provides that Congress may enact a law that can change the name of the country and then submit it to the people for a referendum.”

He added that name Maharlika had been chosen to reflect the country's Malay identity.