NEGROS Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. has filed a bill seeking to rename the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to Ferdinand E. Marcos International Airport.
Teves filed House Bill 610 on Thursday, June 30, 2022.
He said naming the airport after late President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. is more appropriate since he contributed to the idea and execution of the project.
“This project was done during the time of the presidency of Ferdinand Marcos Sr.,” he said.
“It is more appropriate to bear the name that has contributed and legacy in our country to make the Philippines a center of international and domestic air travel, who has initiated and built or conceptualized the project in making pride of our country,” he added.
Address urgent matters
But former senator Franklin Drilon, in a post on his official Facebook page, urged congressional representatives like Teves to focus on urgent matters like how to address the ongoing fuel crisis and how to address inflation in the country.
In an ABS-CBN News interview, Drilon said the move to rename NAIA “will always be seen as political and divisive.”
“This obvious attempt for ingratiation is actually a disfavor to President Marcos Jr. It will not augur well with the call for unity of the Marcos administration. Leave NAIA alone,” Drilon added.
Marcos was the country’s president from Dec. 30, 1965 until Feb. 25, 1986. He placed the country under Martial Law in 1972.
The country’s main gateway, which was initially called the Manila International Airport (MIA), opened in 1948, under the administration of President Manuel Roxas.
It was originally a US Air Force base until it was turned over to the Philippine government’s National Airport Corp., according to the Manila International Airport Authority website.
The control tower and terminal building for the exclusive use of international passengers was completed in 1961, under then President Carlos P. Garcia.
In 1972, Marcos issued Executive Order 381 authorizing the development of MIA “to meet the needs of the coming decades.” The project started to materialize in the second quarter of 1978.
In 1983, Marcos’ staunch critic, former senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., was assassinated on the tarmac of MIA.
This resulted in a chain of events that resulted in Marcos’ ouster in 1986 through a People Power Revolution.
In 1987, under the Presidency of Corazon Aquino, the wife of the killed president, Republic Act 6639 was enacted and the MIA was renamed NAIA. (TPM , JKV / SunStar Philippines)