By Lance Arevada


A bill has been filed in the House of Representatives that seeks to change the name of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to 'Ferdinand E. Marcos International Airport,' a new title based on the country's late dictator and the father and namesake of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. 

Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr. and the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. are widely known in history as archrivals, with Ninoy being the staunchest critic during the Marcos regime.

Negros Oriental Third District Representative Arnolfo Teves Jr. filed the said measure through House Bill No. 610 in the 19th Congress, reasoning that the airport was "done" during dictator Marcos Sr.'s administration.

The NAIA, however, was created through an executive order in 1948 under the administration of former President Manuel Roxas, or about 17 years before Marcos Sr. became president.

"It is more appropriate to bear the name that has contributed and [left a] legacy in our country to make the Philippines a center of international and domestic air travel, who has instituted and built or conceptualized the project," the congressman said.

Then called Manila International Airport (MIA), the country's main international gateway was renamed in honor of the 1983 assassination of Aquino Jr. on its tarmac through Republic Act No. 6639, signed in 1987 by former President Corazon Aquino.

Various bills have been proposed in the previous congress to revert NAIA to MIA, with the most recent one being filed by then Duterte Youth Party-list Representative Ducielle Cardema through House Bill No. 10822 to give "a sense of national pride for the millions of Filipinos."

In 2020, the Supreme Court en banc unanimously junked a petition filed by lawyer Larry Gadon to nullify RA 6639 due to lack of merit. Gadon has argued that Aquino Jr. was not a hero, thus becoming undeserving to name an airport after him.

Edited by Kyla Balatbat