President Rodrigo Duterte has signed a law renaming Roosevelt Avenue in Quezon City after the late National Artist for Cinema Fernando Poe Jr (FPJ).

Republic Act 11608, approved by Duterte on Jan. 10 and released to the public on Thursday, ordered the Department of Public Works and Highways to implement the name change.

The bill was initially filed to rename Del Monte Avenue, also in Quezon City, after FPJ, who built FPJ Studios in the area. But the move was opposed by Franciscan friars in San Francisco del Monte district who said the name change would erase the history of the place, which was originally a Franciscan retreat.

It was Senate President Vicente Sotto III who proposed to rename Roosevelt Avenue instead. The road, which crosses De Monte, is named after US President Franklin Roosevelt, who signed the bill that established the Commonwealth and gave independence to the Philippines.

Sen. Grace Poe, daughter of the late actor, said that FPJ had spent most of his early years residing at Roosevelt Avenue.

FPJ appeared in about 300 films from 1955 to 2003. He was known for his nickname “Da King.”

In his long career, FPJ had won several accolades, including five Famas best actor awards, best director for his films “Ang Padrino” (1984) and “Kahit Butas ng Karayom, Papasukin Ko” (1995).

FPJ was posthumously named a National Artist for Cinema in 2006. The award was only accepted by the Poe family in 2012, after the presidency of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, to whom FPJ controversially lost the presidency in 2004. John Ezekiel J. Hirro