In the light of the recent State of the Nation Address (SONA) of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte which he mentioned about the Balangiga Bells during his speech. He called on the US and asked them to return the bells as these part of the Philippines' national heritage.
President Duterte said in. his speech Thats why I say today – give us back those Balangiga bells. They belong to the Philippines. They are part of our national heritage. Isauli naman ninyo, masakit iyon sa amin [Return them please, its painful for us],
Balangiga Bells History:
In 1901 during the Philippine-American war. Filipino militants from the village of Balangiga ambushed Company C of the 9th U.S. Infantry Regiment, while they were at breakfast. The bells had tolled to signal the surprise attack killing an estimated 48 and wounding 22 of the 78 men of the unit.
In retaliation, Gen. Jacob H. Smith ordered to kill all Filipino male ten years of age capable of bearing arms and to burn down Catholic town church. The Americans looted three bells (Balangiga bells) which they took back to the United States as their war trophies.
The two Balangiga Bells are exhibited at Fort D.A Russel, now F.E Warren Air Force Base
The third Balangiga bell Madison Barracks at Sackets Harbor, New York, station of the 9th US Infantry Regiment at the turn of the 20th century. This bell is now at Camp Red Cloud, their present station in Korea.
US to address Balangiga bells issue:
US Embassy now vowed to resolve the issue of the Balangiga bells.
Embassy spokesperson Molly Koscina stated:
We are aware that the Bells of Balangiga have deep significance for a number of people, both in the United States and in the Philippines. We will continue to work with our Filipino partners to find a resolution,
Attempts at recovery of the bells:
President Duterte's announcement regarding with the return of the Balangiga bells during his speech in his second SONA was not the first time to call on the attention of the US government.
Several attempts had already initiated by the Philippine government.
In the mid- 1990s during the term of former Pres. Fidel V. Ramos his government initiated the recovery.
In 2002 Philippine Senate approved resolution No. 393 authored by former Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr. urging Pres. Arroyo at that time to make formal negotiation with the US government for the return of the bells.
In 2005, the bishop of Borongan, Samar, Bishop Leonardo Medroso and Balangiga parish priest Saturnino Obzunar wrote an open letter addressed to President George W. Bush, the United States Congress and the Helsinki Commission, requesting them to facilitate the return of the bells.
In 2007, Napoleón Abueva, the Philippines' National Artist for sculpture, wrote American Ambassador to the Philippines Kristie Kenney asking for her help in the bells' recovery.
And in 2013, After Balangiga hit by super typhoon Haiyan, the town people then asked the US government to return the church bell.
So, Netizens what do you think about this issue? Do you think our government should make more effort to recover the church bells?
Share your thoughts with us! Comment it down below!
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