Marcos Fact Checks

FACT CHECK:  Marcos did not order renaming of NAIA

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FACT CHECK:  Marcos did not order renaming of NAIA
To change the name of the country’s main gateway, a new law is needed to replace Republic Act 6639, which named the airport after former senator Benigno 'Ninoy' Aquino Jr.

Claim: President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has ordered to revert the name of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to the Manila International Airport (MIA).

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The false claim on YouTube was posted by Pinas News Insider with the title: “KAKAPASOK LANG GRABE! DRlLON NAMUTLA sa UTOS ni PRES BBM SAWAKAS NAIA BALIK MIA NA! DlLAWAN IYAK” (Just in! Drilon turns pale at Pres. BBM’s orders; finally, NAIA is back to MIA! The yellows are crying). The video has 59,862 views, 1,900 likes, and 556 comments as of writing.

The bottom line: Marcos did not announce that NAIA would be renamed. While the video’s title claims that the President has issued such an order, the contents of the video do not support this claim, and instead focus on former Senator Franklin Drilon’s opposition to a proposal to rename the airport.

In June 2022, Negros Oriental 3rd District Representative Arnolfo Teves Jr. filed House Bill 610, which seeks to rename NAIA after the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos, the father and namesake of the chief executive.

According to the explanatory note accompanying the bill, Teves said, “It is more appropriate to rename it to the person who has contributed to the idea and execution of the said noble project.” However, this rationale is based on false information. The airport, then known as MIA, had already been fully operational for more than a decade before the elder Marcos became president.

New law needed: While there have been several bids to rename the airport in recent years, none has been successful. Since NAIA was named after former senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. by virtue of Republic Act 6639, a new law is needed to change the airport’s name.

Not a priority: In response to these proposals, Marcos said in September 2022 that renaming NAIA was not among his immediate concerns. 

“I have no strong feelings about it. When people want to rename the airport and they get public support for it, then yes, go ahead. If not, no,” he said.

Rappler has also published several fact-checks regarding false claims surrounding NAIA:

  1. FALSE: Renaming of NAIA to MIA confirmed
  2. FACT CHECK: Hindi papalitan ang pangalan ng NAIA sa utos ng Pangulo
  3. FACT CHECK: Marcos has no plans of shutting down NAIA

Andrei Santos/

Andrei Santos is a graduate of Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program here.

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