It looks like the Philippines will have two Aquino international airports before PNoy steps down in mid-2016.
A bill renaming Clark as the “Corazon C. Aquino International Airport” and the Clark International Airport Authority into the “Corazon C. Aquino International Airport Authority” sailed through the joint transportation and government enterprise and privatization committee hearings on Wednesday.
The main proponent of the bill, which will now move to the floor for deliberations, is staunch Aquino ally Pampanga Rep. Joseller “Yeng” Guiao.
Guiao’s father, Bren, was a long-time Pampanga governor first appointed to the position by Cory Aquino after Edsa 1.
It was not clear why the young Guiao wanted to rename Clark after the Edsa 1 heroine when the Cojuangco and the Aquino clans are from the neighboring Tarlac province.
“With the pressing problem of congestion at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Metro Manila, the (Cory Aquino International Airport) is being envisioned to be the Philippines’ next premier international airport,” Guiao said in the bill’s preamble.
The proposed name change reflects the vagaries of Philippine politics thought to have been gone out of fashion since the hagiographic rage that afflicted the Marcos regime.
Clark was renamed Diosdado Macapagal International Airport only in 2003, after the daughter of the first Pampango president herself ascended to Malacanang.
With Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo out of power, the airport reverted to its American-era nomenclature, and Diosdado Macapagal was reduced to just being the name of the unfinished budget terminal within the 2,200-hectare Clark civil aviation complex.
Another Guiao bill also wants to rename the adjoining 28,041-hectare Clark free trade zone as the “Cory Aquino Freeport Zone,” abolishing the present Clark Development Corp. in favor of a “Corazon C. Aquino Special Economic Zone and Freeport Authority.”