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Supreme Court junks petition vs. renaming of MIA as NAIA

Ninoy Aquino International Airport

The Supreme Court (SC) has unanimously denied the petition seeking to nullify the law that renamed the Manila International Airport as the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

SC spokesman Brian Keith Hosaka said Wednesday that the court en banc denied the petition, filed by lawyer Lorenzo Gadon, for "lack of merit" during its Tuesday session.

Gadon said he respects the decision but added that he wished the justices "could have been bolder in asserting and upholding the very basic requirements of a valid law which must lay down the need and the reason for passing it."

Gadon had asked the court to nullify Republic Act No. 6639, which changed the name of MIA to NAIA in 1987, four years after former senator Ninoy Aquino was assassinated on the airport's tarmac.

He claimed that the law violated the National Historical Commission of the Philippines' (NHCP) guidelines on the naming of streets, public schools, plazas, building, bridges and other public structures.

The guidelines were approved in 2007, 20 years after the law was enacted.

Gadon claimed that RA 6639 violated the guidelines because it renamed the airport in 1987, four years after Aquino's death when the rules say that renaming could not be done within 10 years of the person's death except for "highly exceptional reasons."

Some of such "exceptional reasons," according to the guidelines, are death due to "assassination in the service of the country" or giving "exceptional service to the nation."

Gadon also claimed that Aquino was "never declared a hero and as such does not deserve that an airport be named after him."

Republic Act No. 9256 declares August 21 of every year Ninoy Aquino Day, a national non-working holiday, "in order to commemorate" Aquino's death anniversary.

Gadon is known as one of the personalities who initiated an impeachment complaint against former chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno. Sereno was removed from her post in 2018 not due to impeachment, but through a quo warranto petition voted on by the SC. 

Gadon ran for the Senate in the 2019 elections and lost. —KG/RSJ, GMA News