A controversial figure whose involvement in this year's Puerto Rican Day Parade has prompted corporate sponsors and a slew of politicians and civil servants to recoil will no longer march as a designated honoree in the June 11th event. Instead, militant separatist leader Oscar López Rivera will march in the parade as a "humble Puerto Rican," organizers confirmed late Thursday night.

"We are looking forward to marching with Oscar López Rivera and respect his decision to walk up Fifth Avenue, 'not as an honoree but as a humble Puerto Rican and grandfather,'" the Board of Directors of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade stated. "Now we can focus again on important issues and the plight of Puerto Rico."

The Board's statement quotes Rivera's Thursday op-ed in the Daily News, published hours before the withdrawal of his National Freedom Hero status was formally announced. However, the tabloid reports that Rivera's attorney, Jan Susler, said as recently as yesterday that Rivera would not drop the post.

Susler did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday. A spokesman for the parade told Gothamist that the Board interpreted Rivera's Daily News op-ed as his formal resignation of the title.

Rivera, 74, served 35 years in prison for his involvement in the separatist FALN group, which was implicated in more than 100 bombings including the 1975 Fraunces Tavern bombing that killed four people in Downtown Manhattan. Another bombing, on New Year's Eve 1982, injured three police officers at NYPD headquarters.

President Barack Obama commuted Rivera's sentence in January; his house arrest in Puerto Rico reportedly concluded on May 17th.

Rivera was convicted of transporting weapons with intent to kill or injure, but was not charged with carrying out bombings himself. Rivera recently told the NY Times that, "I do not have blood on my hands, and that's why I cannot be a terrorist." In the same interview, he said that colonized peoples have the right to use "force" in the name of independence.

Last week, Univision joined Goya Foods, JetBlue, AT&T, Coca-Cola, Corona and the Yankees in pulling their sponsorship from the parade. Governor Cuomo has also announced his intention to skip the parade, and while Mayor de Blasio has committed to marching, he recently distanced himself from López Rivera.

"Unfortunately, the parade and the plight of Puerto Rico have been overshadowed by needless controversy," Mayor de Blasio stated Thursday night. "Oscar López Rivera agreeing to step aside from any formal role in the parade is a critical step forward in refocusing our city's attention on the more important issues facing Puerto Rico."

"Puerto Rico and its 3.5 million people, many of whom are family and loved ones of New Yorkers, are in the midst of an economic collapse and health care crisis that threatens their future," he said. "Our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico deserve help from Washington and they are not receiving it. This should be our singular focus when it comes to Puerto Rico and our city's parade."

Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez, chair of the parade Board, is also a top de Blasio advisor. The Mayor's Office did not immediately respond to requests for comment on whether they encouraged Rivera to step down.

City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, a longtime supporter of Rivera, had not commented on the latest development in the parade controversy as of Friday morning.