Solon wants Ninoy Aquino Int’l Airport renamed to Ferdinand E. Marcos Int’l Airport
MANILA, Philippines — A lawmaker has filed a bill proposing to rename the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) to Ferdinand E Marcos International Airport.
Negros Oriental 3rd District Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr., who filed the bill on June 30 — but released it to the media on Tuesday, said, “[i]t is more appropriate to rename it to the person who has contributed to the idea and execution of the said noble project.”
“This project was done during the time of the presidency of Ferdinand Marcos Sr.,” Teves said in House Bill No. 610’s explanatory note.
“It is more appropriate to bear the name that has contributed and legacy (sic) in our country to make the Philippines a center of international and domestic air travel, who has instituted and built or conceptualized the project in making pride (sic) of our country,” he added.
Teves, however, did not mention that Naia, previously known as the Manila International Airport (Mia), was not constructed under the older Marcos’ administration.
According to the history section of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) official website, the international runway and associated taxiway were built in 1953 and 1961, respectively.
Marcos Sr.’s term as president started in 1965. The late former president however, MIAA said, promulgated Executive Order No. 381 which prepared the Manila International Airport for future needs.
The current name of the country’s main gateway – Ninoy Aquino International Airport – was in honor of former senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, who was killed at the tarmac of the then-Manila International Airport on August 21, 1983. This set off a chain of events that eventually led to the ouster of Ferdinand Marcos Sr., whose regime was marred with extravagance, plunder, corruption, and rights violations, in February 1986 via a bloodless revolt.
Former senator Aquino was a known opposition leader during the Marcos Sr. regime.
The Aquinos and Marcoses have been political rivals, with each family producing senators and presidents.
Former senator Aquino’s wife, Corazon Aquino, became the country’s 11th President (after Marcos Sr.) while their son, Benigno S. Aquino III, became the country’s 15th President.
Former President Marcos Sr.’s son and namesake, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, was inaugurated as the country’s 17th President last June 30 at the National Museum of Fine Arts.
This is not the first time that the idea of renaming Naia was raised. In June 2020, former deputy speaker Paolo Duterte — son of former President Rodrigo Duterte — and other lawmakers filed a bill to change Naia to Paliparang Pandaigdig ng Pilipinas (Philippine International Airport).
Duterte and other lawmakers, including then-Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, said changing the name would make the airport immediately identifiable as a Philippine-based establishment.
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