Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo "Arnie" Teves Jr. on Wednesday defended his bill seeking to rename the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to Ferdinand E. Marcos International Airport.
According to Teves, changing the name of the airport is "giving credit" to Marcos Sr., who he claimed did great things for the country.
"Marcos did really well. At isa pa, para sa akin, 'yung bisa ng EDSA nawala na eh. Kung may bisa pa 'yung EDSA, hindi mananalo si BBM. Bakit nanalo si BBM? Ibig sabihin wala nang bisa 'yung EDSA. It's no longer significant to the people today," he told ANC.
(Marcos did really well. One more thing, for me, the EDSA revolution has lost its effect. If it is still effective, BBM would not win. Why did BBM win? It just means the EDSA revolution is not effective anymore. It's no longer significant to the people today.)
Reacting to criticisms that his proposal is an attempt to distort history, Teves claimed that the Marcoses being back in power means people have realized that the Marcos regime was okay.
"What do you mean, symbol of democracy? Sabi ko nga wala na ngang bisa 'yung nangyari sa EDSA. Totoong nangyari 'yung EDSA. Napalitan sina Marcos, natanggal. Eh bakit ngayon ibinalik ng mga tao? Ibig sabihin naka-realize 'yung tao na okay sina Marcos," he said.
(What do you mean, symbol of democracy? As I've said, the EDSA revolution has lost its effect. The EDSA revolution did happen. They replaced the Marcoses, they were removed. But why did the people let them return now? It means they realized that the Marcoses were okay.)
Teves also claimed his proposed bill is for the country, and not just to win the favor of President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., the son of the late dictator.
"I'm doing this for the country na dapat ang bigyan natin ng kredito ay 'yung gumagawa ng tama," he said.
(I'm doing this for the country because we should give credit to those who did good.)
"Let's give credit where credit is due, and also, let's be attuned to the times. If EDSA was relevant before, today, no more, because if it was relevant today, BBM would never win," Teves added.
Teves, in his bill, claimed NAIA was built during the term of Marcos Sr. However, according to the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) records, NAIA's international runway and associated taxiway were built in 1953, while a control tower and terminal building for international passengers were completed in 1961.
Marcos, Sr. was elected president in 1965, or 4 years after the completion of what came to be known as the Manila International Airport.
In 2020, Rep. Paolo Duterte also filed House Bill No. 7031, proposing to rename the airport to “Pambansang Pandaigdig ng Pilipinas.”
Dr. Jose Victor Torres of De La Salle University-Manila warned of "big changes" in the country's history as the late dictator's son and namesake assumed office last week.
He also saw saw Teves' bill as an effort to supposedly remove the "dark past" of martial law in the country.
Over 11,000 people fell victim to state brutality during the 1972-1986 Marcos dictatorship, which include enforced disappearances, rape, torture, and murder, according to official government records.
Critics have described Marcos Sr.'s legacy as one fraught with abuses and corruption, which left the country heavily indebted and impoverished.