'Congressional action' needed to rename NAIA, says Palace

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 19 2022 05:13 PM

A lone taxi cab  ABS-CBN News/file
A lone taxi cab is seen at the usually busy Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 in Paranaque City on Tuesday, May 25, 2021, amid the COVID-19 pandemic. ABS-CBN News/file

MANILA- Renaming the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to Manila International Airport (MIA) will need congressional action, Malacañang said on Tuesday. 

This, after the Duterte Youth's party-list representative authored House Bill No. 10833 to rename NAIA, claiming the name was "highly politicized."

But acting Palace spokesperson Martin Andanar said Republic Act No. 6639, which renamed MIA after former Sen. Beningo "Ninoy" Aquino Jr., must be repealed to achieve this.

"There has to be a congressional action to repeal [it]. It can be remembered that the Supreme Court in 2020 already junked the petition to nullify the said law," noted Andanar.

The High Court in 2020 voted unanimously to deny “for lack of merit” lawyer Larry Gadon’s petition to declare null RA 6639, which renamed the MIA after Ninoy Aquino. 

Gadon filed the petition in late August citing guidelines from the National Historical Commission passed in 2007 or 20 years after the law took effect that only allows, among others, to name a public place after a person at least 10 years after their death.

In the measure that Rep. Ducielle Marie Cardema authored, she claimed that naming it to the democracy icon was "self-serving." 

"It was named NAIA in 1987 during the time of then President Corazon Aquino, it was a... highly-politicized act in connection with her late husband, an anti-Marcos leader, the late Senator Ninoy Aquino," Cardema said. 

Sen. Aquino was assassinated on Aug. 21, 1983 on the tarmac of what was then called the Manila International Airport. It was one of the catalysts of the People Power revolt 3 years later. 

Naming the airport after him honors the fight for democracy, no matter how imperfect, a political analyst had said.

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