Town folks tearful on return of Balangiga bellsPosted on
EASTERN SAMAR (December 15)– Tearful residents in Balangiga welcomed home the three bells which was returned by the United States after more than a century.
On December 15, children waved and residents expressed joy as President Rodrigo Duterte witnessed the turnover of the Transfer of Certificate of the Balangiga Bells from United States (US) Deputy Chief of Mission John Law to Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana and Balangiga Mayor Randy Graza.
President Duterte, who graced the historic occasion maintained that the return of the bells was possible through the “fervent prayers of the entire nation” and that no one could claim credit for its return.
“Nobody can claim a singular credit for the generous act of the Americans. The bells are returned. The credit goes to the American people and to the Filipino people. Period,” the President added.
On December 11, the Balangiga bells arrived in Manila after a stopover in Okinawa, Japan, where the bells were reunited.
The Balangiga Bells were used to signal a historic siege during the Philippine-American War in 1901, which is considered to be the US’ worst single defeat in the Philippines.
“I am sure that our ancestors are celebrating with us here on this remarkable victory. And that it does not only bring back the glory of the town, but also contributes to the full restoration of our dignity as a Filipino,” Duterte added.
Duterte demanded the return of the bells on his second State of the Nation Address in 2017. “It is really indeed a long and tedious process to the point that the outcome was disappointing sometimes, but the long wait is over,” Duterte said. – Jiann Padillo/ NewsLine