Lawmaker says Philippines should consider changing its name

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Lawmaker says Philippines should consider changing its name
Lawmaker Gary Alejano believes the name of the Philippines is an unwelcome relic of its colonial past

A Filipino lawmaker is marking his country’s Independence Day by calling for commission to consider a new name for the Philippines.

Citing the need for the country to be “truly independent,” House Representative Gary Alejano has filed a bill that would create a commission “to conduct a comprehensive study for an appropriate name that we shall call our nation.”

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He said: “If we want to be truly independent, then we should throw away the bonds of colonialism by establishing our own national identity.

“For our country to move forward, we should identify a name for our country that genuinely reflects our national aspirations, a name that signifies our values and self-determination.

“While many other nations who were formerly under colonial yoke have reverted back to their former pre-colonised name as it gives them a sense of national pride and identity as free people, we opted to retain the name given by our Spanish colonisers.

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“It is high time for our country to experience a sense of being and independence by choosing a name that reflects our character, our values, as a people, and as a nation.”

The proposed commission would given a year to complete their work and a proposed budget of 30 million pesos.

Rep. Alejano, a former soldier, is a member of the opposition bloc in the House of Representatives.

He and Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, another former soldier turned legislator, recently filed a complaint to the International Criminal Court against President Duterte over killings related to the government’s war on drugs.

Rep. Alejano also filed an impeachment complaint against the president last March, which has since been thrown out.

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