By Hannah Torregoza
Senate minority leader Franklin Drilon on Friday opposed the renaming of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to Paliparang Pandaigdig ng Pilipinas (PPP).
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” Drilon said in a statement.
Drilon pointed out many airports around the globe are named after heroes and individuals whose lives shaped the history of their nation.
The minority leader cited in particular the JFK (John F. Kennedy) Airport in New York, Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans, Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport, India’s Indira Gandhi Airport, Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport and Canada’s Montreal-Pierre Elliot Trudeau Airport, among others.
“There is more to it than just a name. It gives a glimpse of who we are as a people. We are known as a democracy-loving people because that is what Ninoy Aquino represents,” Drilon said.
Drilon also questioned the timing of the proposal, which emanated from the House of Representatives, considering that the country is in the middle of battling a COVID-19 crisis.
He also said any effort to rename NAIA would always be seen as political, thus, it is best to put on hold such proposition.
“We are facing a pandemic and we are thinking of renaming an airport? I believe we can do better than that,” Drilon said.
“Ilan million Pilipino ang nawalan ng trabaho. Tapos ang pagpalit ng pangalan ng NAIA ang priority? (Millions of Filipinos lost their jobs. Then they will prioritize the renaming of NAIA?” he pointed out.
The move is also divisive, according to Drilon. He said the country needs to unite during this time of a pandemic.
“We are in a crisis, and we owe it to every Filipino to avoid a situation that will create division rather than invite unity and cooperation,” Drilon emphasized.
“The renaming of NAIA will not serve any purpose at this point,” he stressed.